So you are on the phone making your vmware purchase. The sales guy is banging away on his keyboard muttering random things, randomly conferencing in people who can answer stuff he knows nothing about, and suddenly he asks you; What kind of support contract do you want?
So you ask him about the options and the cost, most likely thinking, what happens if i go down and i dont know how to fix it? Then you think, well ya, but will the cost of this contract offset the cost of being down for a few hours? What about off hours issues? So most likely you figured that it was worth it to just go ahead and buy the most coverage since it is vmware and its a 24/7 environment.
So your sales guy says, sure they do have a 24/7 option called platium support! Great how much is it, wow thats expensive, but when it comes to your job or saving the company a little money on support, you tend to CYA. In our case, i CYA'ed and went for the motherload platinum 24x7 support, onsite if necessary, they will fix it, SUPPORT. Great, he plugs in the numbers, generates a quote, sends you the licensing and bam you pay the bill. Its all done, you are covered, lets rock n roll!!!
Well at this point, i have to say, the rock n roll part stops as soon as you decide after 6pm (insert time zone here) that you want to call and ask a question of your 24x7 support warriors because you just spent the last three hours trying to figure it out on your own.
Here is how your call will go:
You call up, wade through the menu's, an indian guy will answer, ask you alot of annoying questions about your support contract and contact information(that they should already have, but ok). They will then ask you questions about your problem that they have no idea how to fix, nor have any clue what you are talking about. Then they will ask you an important question, "Is this an outage event" "servers offline" etc... If you say, nope, i just have a question, they will say thank you very much. Here is your support case id, then the all important notice, "A representative will call you back within 8 BUSINESS hours". Yes, you heard me, 8 BUSINESS hours, meaning sometime tomorrow, maybe the next day.
Just so i am clear on my thoughts here, 24 hours by 7 days a week support is offered, but unless your ass is on fire and your boss is screaming at you, they will not talk to you when you call in. Maybe the sales rep fails at fully explaining the support you are buying that he/she doesnt understand in the first place, maybe I fail at really researching what i am buying.
Either way, by my definition and the definition of Dell, HP, IBM, Sonicwall, Symantec, ECW, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Stromberg, Lefthand, Shoretel, etc etc etc... 24/7 support means that you call in and can actually talk to someone.
My message to VMWare: Tell your sales reps/engineers to highlight the specifics of your support contracts and make sure to mention that your 24/7 support is only applicible, IF and ONLY IF, your servers are offline and you are experiencing an outage ( business critical issue ).