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Technical Support for Validated Configurations
Technical support will be available for customers running a supported Windows Server operating system on a validated virtualization solution through Microsoft's technical support channels, if the Microsoft customer is running copies of Windows Server they have acquired and licensed from Microsoft directly. SVVP does not apply to vendors that are hosting Windows Server or other Microsoft products through the Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement Program (SPLA). Support for SPLA customers is provided under the SPLA agreement by the SPLA hoster. Customers can deploy the solutions that are included in the program and expect to receive operating system support from either Microsoft or the virtualization vendor.
In order to receive technical support customers must meet the baseline requirements:
For more information about Microsoft's policies for supporting software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software please refer to http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=897615. In addition, refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957006/ to find more information about Microsoft's support policies for its applications running in virtual environments.
How will a customer get support for Windows if they are running on a validated virtualization solution?
Customers who have valid Windows Server licenses and support agreements can call for support from either Microsoft or the vendor who has provided them with a validated server virtualization solution. Whichever company is contacted first will try to resolve the customer's issues. In the event a solution cannot be determined, the technical support representative, with the permission of the customer, can leverage TSANet to contact the other company to help resolve the customer issue. More information about TSANet can be found at www.tsanet.org
When will customers be able to get support?
Customers will be able to benefit from this program as soon as a virtualization vendor's submission is validated and listed on the Windows Server Catalog in the SVVP Products List. Customers can deploy validated solutions in the catalog and expect to receive support from Microsoft or the virtualization vendor when running it on servers Certified for Windows Server 2008 or later versions of Windows Server operating systems with the same processor architecture validated.
Will customers running on validated solutions still be required to reproduce problems on hardware?
While we fully expect the Server Virtualization Validation Program to ferret out the majority of issues associated with running virtualized operating systems, there may be situations when the root cause problem cannot be isolated or duplicated without asking a customer to reproduce the error on hardware. Every situation will be examined on a case by case basis and we expect to ask customer to reproduce problems on "bare metal" only as a last resort.
If my company is running a validated configuration and my vendor updates and validates newer versions, will my validation expire? How long will I be able to get support from Microsoft?
Once validated, a configuration is supported until such time as some element of that configuration is no longer supported by its respective vendor. Examples would be if a virtualization vendor declared a version of their product to be "end of life", or when Microsoft Life Cycle Support policy ends support for a specific version of an operating system or Service Pack.
What questions should we ask ourselves to determine if our system is eligible for support?
You should be able to answer, "Yes" to the following questions to determine if your system is eligible for support:
What is the support policy for additional functionality of virtualization products?
With regards to virtualization product functionality that operates without the knowledge or cooperation of the operating system or applications executing within the virtual machine such as, but not limited to; live migration of virtual machines, virtual machine clustering, memory ballooning, virtual machine fault tolerance, etc., these are outside the scope of the Server Virtualization Validation Program.
There are no industry standards to follow in implementing such features, and since 'by design' the operating system [whether that be Windows Server or some other OS] or application is not required to be cognizant of such functionality provided by the virtualization product which operates independently of the operating system or application, there is no practical method of testing these virtualization product features.
Thus, the SVVP program does not test these features or functions, and the virtualization product vendor is solely responsible for testing and supporting them. Any certification the virtualization vendor has with regards to these features is outside the scope of the Server Virtualization Validation Program. However, unless otherwise stated in articles or documents for Windows Server operating systems or for Microsoft server applications, Microsoft does not preclude their use by customers. Customers may contact Microsoft for more information in this regard for specific virtualization product features and functions and Microsoft products.
If a customer running a supported version of Windows Server on a validated virtualization solution experiences issues after using third party virtualization features (such as live migration) that operate independently of Microsoft products, then the customer should contact the virtualization vendor for assistance in resolving the issue.