Feeds

Virtualisation and vendor support

What happens when you have a problem?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Lab You may be playing around with virtualisation on the edges of your IT environment or be well down the road to making it part of the furniture. But what happens when something goes wrong and it’s not immediately obvious what the problem is?

If the issue looks as though it is related to a software application provided by a third party then it might be wise to call someone who can hopefully provide a sensible plan to get things back on track. Failing an early diagnosis, they should be able to help you escalate the issue to a more senior or technical counterpart who can take a closer look.

But the process might be about to take an altogether different course because your problem is with no ‘ordinary’ workload – it's running in a virtual environment. You may get one of two responses:

“Sorry we don’t support that particular product/release in a virtual environment.”

“Ah yes but that’s not how we recommend you virtualise that product/release, so we can’t help.”

This may be followed by some advice:

“Take the application out of the virtual environment and put it onto a physical machine using a configuration we recommend and an OS we support. If you can replicate the same problem then we’ll help. If you can’t then clearly it’s not the application causing you the problem...”

Until around 18 months ago, very few vendors supported their applications running in virtual environments. The watershed was broken by the likes of SAP and Microsoft effectively saying "OK, we’ll provide support but only if you use Hypervisor X in this particular manner".

The more cynical/battle weary/experienced/long in the tooth (choose your own label) IT professionals out there may feel as though virtualisation is just another addition to the list of excuses that software vendors have hidden behind to avoid providing support for their products.

But virtualisation might actually prove to be a boon for the support process. There are several features of the technology that should/could actually make the support process easier to administer and deliver, rather than harder.

One of the key features of virtualisation is that the workload is divorced from the underlying hardware. With the right tools it can be replicated, stored and moved around. With the right processes in place, a vendor should easily be able to ‘receive’ an image of a problematic application (bandwidth considerations permitting etc), replicate the customer’s virtual environment and collaborate with the customer to find a solution.

Being optimistic, there is no real reason why a customer-supplier relationship should not be enhanced and streamlined by the presence of virtualisation technology, instead of muddied and strained.

Back in the real world, we’d be very interested to hear about your own experiences of seeking vendor support for instances involving ‘their’ apps running in your virtual environments. Have you felt like you were talking to a brick wall, or have you been pleasantly surprised by the response and effort you have received?

As usual, we’re all ears. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.