Support for Microsoft Software

Customer Support Options for Microsoft Products Running within VMware Virtual Machines

Widespread production deployment of VMware virtual infrastructure solutions by enterprises worldwide leads to inquiries from customers on how they can access technical support for Microsoft operating systems and applications running on VMware virtual machines. This document summarizes the range of support options available to VMware customers running licensed Microsoft operating systems and applications on VMware virtual machines.

Microsoft supports their server products on VMware through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). SVVP is available to all customers through their normal support relationship with VMware or Microsoft. Any level of support from either vendor (including per call support) is acceptable to access this option.

SVVP eliminates a significant barrier to adoption for many prospective customers, and makes all our customers more confident about deploying on VMware.

Microsoft provides the current list of SVVP-certified hypervisors. Products supported by Microsoft include Windows 2000, Server 2003, and Server 2008 (including all server roles such as file services, print services and Active Directory). They also include enterprise applications such as Exchange Server and SQL Server. We have also included the official support policy from Microsoft.

Customers running other Microsoft products on a VMware virtual machine still have several options:

  1. Any VMware support customer is covered by the VMware Safety Net for Microsoft products. Through VMware's Premier Agreement with Microsoft, customer issues can be escalated to Microsoft engineering and pursued jointly. VMware will determine when this approach is appropriate, but has found that it can produce excellent results in particularly challenging situations.
  2. For customers that have a Microsoft Premier-level support agreement, Microsoft will provide “commercially reasonable efforts” to support any software product running within VMware virtual machines. If such efforts do not isolate the problem, Microsoft may request that customers replicate the issue on a physical machine to proceed with the investigation.
  3. For customers running non-supported products that don't have a Premier Agreement, Microsoft's level of support is more restrictive. Microsoft support specialists may request that customers first replicate the issue on a physical machine. Item #897615 in Microsoft's Knowledge Base describes this policy.

Customers that prefer to receive support from their hardware vendors have the option to include Microsoft product support, depending on how they purchase VMware and Microsoft software.

  1. For customers who purchase OEM VMware products with Dell hardware and Dell Gold Enterprise Support or Dell ProSupport, the vendor provides end-to-end support including the VMware software and certified Microsoft operating systems that are run within virtual machines.
  2. For customers who purchase VMware products with Fujitsu hardware and a Fujitsu SupportDesk agreement, Fujitsu provides end-to-end support including the VMware software and licensed Microsoft software run within virtual machines.
  3. For customers who purchase VMware products bundled with HP hardware and/or HP Services (Consulting & Integration & HP Outsourcing) and have a current HP support and subscription agreement on VMware and Microsoft, HP provides end-to-end support including the VMware software and any licensed Microsoft software that is run within virtual machines.
  4. For customers who purchase VMware products with IBM hardware and an IGS support agreement, IBM provides end-to-end support including the VMware software and licensed Microsoft software run within virtual machines.
  5. For customers who purchase OEM VMware products with Unisys hardware and Unisys Gold or Platinum Support, the vendor provides end-to-end support including the VMware software and certified Microsoft operating systems that run within virtual machines.