VMWare Issues

We have had VMware installed in our environment for a few years now. We have three hosts and they are huge. We have had no problems since deployment...none. Apparently we have been without a support contract for a year now. Last weekend, VMTools was upgraded and none of the VM's were rebooted. So a few VM's slowly but surely became unavailable. As a team, we were able to determine that a handful of drivers, including the network driver, upgraded; causing Windows to freak out. Once we rebooted the VM's, everything worked. Seemed like it was a slow death, only a few servers started to become unavailable, when we figured out what was happening, we scheduled time and rebooted the rest. No other servers experienced this issue after.

We realize we did this to ourselves. We were thankful to be able to fix this ourselves as well however, it made us question having a support contract. We were sent a quote and quite frankly, it's a lot. Our hardware is under warranty through another vendor, so that is not an issue.

My question is, can anybody speak on experience the issues that VMware may see? Especially after the three year mark of life. I don't see any major issues coming up that wouldn't be hardware related. Is the chunk of money we would spend on only a two year contract for support really worth it? We have called for support zero times since deployment and I am confident that if it isn't a hardware related problem, we can solve this issue with not only with our knowledge of the system but when you have tools like Experts Exchange or even the VM Forum....it makes it hard for me to be convinced spending so much money on support for the VMware world.

If this system was known for being problematic, and not from a hardware stand point; I could understand needing support. I just do not see enough issues, any at all to be specific, that would warrant being under a support contract for so much money.

What are your thoughts?
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tbs_mnpAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I asked an Expert on EE, which asks VMware questions regularly, "Why do they use EE, do you have a VMware Support Contract" and this was the reply..

Great to hear from you Andy!!!
 Yes we do have a support contract with Vmware and other large vendors but I like to use EE when I can because there is so much knowledge out their and some experts like yourself have seen things support has not. I also like to use EE to help myself "learn" from grand masters like yourself.

To be honest as VMware Partner, User and Consultants - times are tough at selling VMware Support Contracts, when YOU HAVE THE BEST INTERNET RESOURCE at your Finger TIPS!

Experts Exchange!

You can check my personal profile, as to what has been said, comparing ME, to VMware Support!

So I would have to AGREE waste of money!

But you will need to evaluate the risks to your business, without a support contract you will not be entitled to upgrades, and recently VMware have now made changes, to the Update Portal, and non-subscribers can now not get updates or patches...

however unless you are on a supported platform, e.g. 5.1/5.5 that is not going to matter...and when that goes end of life, and version 6.0 is round the corner, you could always purchase again, with 1 year basic support!

Do you have a Microsoft Support Contract for OS or Messaging support?

This was a quote from EE Member sirius7 (http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_5999994.html), who had a little issue with an Exchange Server which was down, because of evil snapshots, and lack of datastore space!

Once the issues was fixed...

"Dude when you finally get your pic of you wearing cape + mask I want my Xlarge pre-ordered. If this sounds like a small case of hero worship is it because I'm on 1 knee? Thank you again?"

another Snapshot issue, where I worked with a EE member all day, comments from ID10Tz (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_27752352.html), VMware Server 2.0 snapshot had failed, critical finance server down, product no longer supported, NO support available from VMware.

Comments from Question

been reading your articles and how-to's and its more informative than what Ive been getting from sourcespring (education division from VMware). And in fact this is a horrible work experience were going thru but the learning experience is the best I could have asked for. Kinda of boot camp...

very awesome. Start teaching bro.

Grading Comment:
What VMware could not, hanccocka could!

Also remember VMware are only VMware focused, so do not have the range of skills of OS and Hardware support at EE.

Comments other EE members have made...

Hi Hancock.

I have an open question and would love your input.

I will already be naming my first son 'Hancock' from your help to date, but will also campaign for 'Hancock Day' to be recognised if you can assist with this one.

Andrew,

You need to change your name to vm guru!  That worked, but I wonder why the other servers with the E1000 did not break.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28542237.html#a40396932

Virtualization destination P2V
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_28546715.html#a40410671


Comment :-

Grading Comment:
Cant say enough good things about this expert. With my inexperience in the P2V process, he was there every step of the way and to our end users, come Monday morning, they had no idea that anything had changed. A total result as far as I am concerned and I have no hesitation in recommending this expert and EE as the place to go for technology learning and solutions

MAC address of VMware host, at console
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28527943.html#a40351611

Grading Comment
Thanks, Andrew. When it comes to VMware, you are the man!

Boot File System UUID vs Bios UUID
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28494577.html#a40254664

Author Comment
I am amazed at your in-depth knowledge of VMware, you should work for them!!!

COnfiguring Vmware Networking for a server with 4 network ports (Dell R710)
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28496585.html#a40260045

Author Comment
Wow, thanks for the info.  


Virtualisation project sanity check
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Virtualization/Q_28494566.html#a40252913

Author Comment
No further validation needed if it gets your stamp of approval Mr H!

Looking to be rid of the Windows Server 2003 servers within the next six months if all goes according to plan

Thanks for the additional tips, exactly what I was after

Netapp + ESXi = Questions
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28494888.html#a40253199

Author Comment
Andrew is the man.

VMware Stand-Alone Converter
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28496821.html#a40258555

Author Comments

AWESOME LINK!

LOVE the article.  Thanks for all of your help and immediate responses.  Hope you have a great day Sir.

Outstanding information and very helpful.

This is the best answered question I have ever had.

I is like DR Phil saying "here is a copy of my book on that subject"

Regards

Dave



http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Linux/Distributions/Q_28658956.html#a40733245
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tbs_mnpAuthor Commented:
Wow....Thank you for the input. That was extremely helpful.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Come Back again...sometime....to EE, always here to help!
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