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Don’t forget support for your non-Synergy/DE products

By Roger Andrews, Posted on May 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

In my last post, I talked about some issues with Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP1 that caused me to recommend not upgrading to them yet. These issues represent just one example where an operating system problem might hinder performance for our customers.

In another example, we recently had a customer report that it was taking our SQL OpenNet server 20 times longer to retrieve records from a SCO OpenServer 6 or UnixWare system than from SCO OpenServer 5.0.6. We tracked this down to a bug in the SCO implementation of the Nagle algorithm on the TCP/IP stack. We produced a simple C program that was sent to SCO and a fix is pending.

While we were able to assist the customer in the above situation, this isn’t always the case. We try hard to reproduce operating system and other layered product problems with our support team even when Synergy/DE is not at fault, but we unfortunately can’t support every OS and product in the field. There is an increasing need for our ISVs and end customers to maintain software support contracts with the vendors they work with to solve problems.

In many cases the problems we come across are third-party interaction issues (like virus scanners) and configuration issues with the OS that are beyond the scope of Synergy/DE support. A prime example of this is the use of operating system virtualization, where Synergy/DE is supported on the target OS, and the virtualization software acts as a hardware layer underneath the OS. As we have found out, Microsoft will not entertain any calls being logged if the problem is not reproducible in a non-virtual environment. So just as the device drivers of a server require a maintenance contract with the hardware supplier, so the use of virtualization software requires the same (effectively hardware) support contract with the virtualization supplier.

So I recommend you evaluate the level of support you may need for your non-Synergy/DE products and then obtain the appropriate support contracts.

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