Based on our experience in supporting enterprise-class customers with virtualization infrastructures, we would like to share with you some recommendations and best practices for a highly effective support relationship.

Educate Your Administrators. We have found that customers who invest in VMware customer education courses for their administrators are much more effective in defining the symptoms of problems and in working with us to resolve the underlying issue. The return on this investment is almost immediate when you consider the cost of the education versus the cost of downtime. VMware has a formal certification program (VCP) that offers technology professionals the knowledge, skills, and credentials to deploy and maintain VMware virtualization technology.

Plan Ahead. Before deploying our products, you will need to review VMware Release Notes and other related technical documentation for your environment. Of particular interest are the installation, configuration, and running of guest operating systems. We also recommend that you carefully define your project plans and include adequate test time and a “crisis” plan to ensure your administrators know how to contact the vendors involved. For more complex infrastructure changes, VMware offers a variety of consulting services including the VMware Virtual Infrastructure Methodology (VIM) to help you assess your existing systems and applications, and then use that knowledge to plan, build and manage your virtual infrastructure.

Assign Appropriate Resources. Individuals assigned to deploy VMware products should be experienced in the installation, operation, and maintenance of the hardware, desktop, server, network operating systems, and applications in your environment before installing VMware software. Many installation issues are actually issues with 3rd party components and software. These issues would exist regardless of whether you were installing on a physical machine or a virtual machine. If you require assistance, VMware consultants are available to identify the best solution for your environment, develop the solution and implement it right the first time.

Utilize Self-Help. Organizations can take full advantage of VMware self-help tools available on the Web. Through the VMware Technology Network, you can find technical documentation, knowledge base solutions, discuss issues with other administrators in our Discussion Forum, and reference our white papers, tech notes and compatibility guides.

Provide Complete and Accurate Information. As with any troubleshooting process, accurate and timely resolution depends on accurate and timely information. If a virtual machine exhibits abnormalities or crashes, please run the “vmsupport script” to collect the appropriate log files and system information. Information on how to run this script for the various platforms can be found in the User Manual's Introduction Section in the online documentation.

Keep Your Profile Up to Date. We encourage you to create and maintain your profile information. You should register immediately after product purchase. This minimizes some of the overhead in processing your SR and allows us to respond to your requests quickly and effectively.

Register Your Products. Product registration is key to associating your support agreement with the correct product. Until you officially register the product, there may be some delays in processing your SR.