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September 24, 2008

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Kenon Owens

Looks like you got the email and put it up there before I did.

http://dantedog29.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-deal-with-svvp.html

Great blogs, interesting reading.

Confused MS Customer

Interested in your view pertaining to SVVP...

1. Will MS require customers to reproduce on a physical platform during troubleshooting approved apps ruuning on virtualized systems.
--> aka: Does MS indicate they will not force customers to reproduce on physical servers if running HyperV but will if running on ESX?

2. SQL2008 is called out in the new SVVP (SQL2005 is not).

What are the explicit differences in the customer experience for the following scnearios.

a. sql2008 on HyperV versus VMware ESX
b. sql2005 on HyperV versus VMware ESX

Chad Sakac

Thanks for the question, confused MS customer - I think you're not alone :-)

WARNING: I've learned NEVER to make statements about Microsoft support, those definitive statements can only come from Microsoft. This is couched in my understanding, and in my experience of what happens.

NOTE: this has nothing to do with what works (they all work!) but what is explicitly in or out in the current support stance.

OK - so my answer:

1) If the configuration is not one explicitly supported in the SVVP, KB article 897615 applies (here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615). This is the governing paragraph:

"For Microsoft customers with Premier-level support running non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software from vendors with which Microsoft does not have an established support relationship that covers virtualization solutions, Microsoft will investigate potential issues with Microsoft software running together with non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software.

As part of the investigation, Microsoft may require the issue to be reproduced by the customer independently from the non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. This may be done on Windows Server 2008 (with Hyper-V), the actual hardware platform with the Windows operating system installed directly upon it, or on both."

Decoded, this means "if you're a Premier support customer, we'll do our best, but may ask you to repro in a physical.".

NOTE - you said "required", and the answer is NO they won't require that, but they reserve the right to ask you to do it when "reasonable" efforts are fruitless.

2) SQL Server 2008 is in SVVP, SQL server 2005 is governed like case 1) above.

So, the governing part of KB 897615 (same one) becomes this paragraph: "Additionally, for vendors with whom Microsoft has established a support relationship that covers virtualization solutions, or for vendors who have Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) validated solutions, Microsoft will support server operating systems subject to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy for its customers who have support agreements when the operating system runs virtualized on non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software"

Decoded: you'll be supported, period. Now, note that Microsoft does state that they may need joint support/escalation with the virtualization vendor, and STILL reserve the right (less reserved?) to eventually ask to ask to repro on a physical.

OK - WANT MY 2 CENTS?

- Microsoft is a trusted vendor, in the same way VMware, Cisco and EMC (and many others) are for many customers.
- Trusted vendors know that saying "nah, not supported, you're screwed" is not a smart move, and results in... well... not so happy customers.
- They aren't trying to be devious, but are trying to draw the line somewhere about where they are point, and where the virtualization vendor is point (a blurry line, to be sure).

The most important thing is what happens at the first inbound call into support. These days, SVVP means that with ESX 3.5u2, you are not going to get the "I can't talk to you until you run it on a physical". After that, it's up to Microsoft (up to the point where they are stumped, at which point they engage through joint escalation VMware) to support you, together, which they will.

Kenon Owens

One other thing, Microsoft updated their KB Article on what Apps are supported by SVVP here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957006/ (which was updated VERY recently), SQL Server 2005 is now on the list. Also, we (VMware) have updated our current Certifications with more OSs and Platforms supported. Check out http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/item.aspx?idItem=fb304f90-92ed-4bed-ae4f-96805c16b61c&bCatID=1521 for the latest versions and platforms updated as we will be continously updating our current Certifications with larger product support and server capacity.

PC tech support

I never heard of this activity yet but it seemed pretty much interesting. I can see the productive reason behind it and I was actually impressed. I would love to hear more form you guys and updates regarding this.

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