How-to effectively work with SUSE Technical Support

This document (7023848) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

Welcome to SUSE Technical Support!
 
The SUSE Technical Support organization creates a lot of detailed information which is publicly available to our customers. This allows for self-support in many problem scenarios, but also provides a series of tools, utilities and best practices that will assist our technical support engineers in working on the complex issues once these are reported to our technical support team.
 
In this TID (Technical Information Document) we aim to share the information needed to minimize the turn-around times to resolve reported problems.
 
The SUSE Technical Support Handbook
 
You may have found this TID as a link from that same SUSE Technical Support Handbook, or found this TID directly in our knowledgebase. 
The SUSE Technical Support Handbook contains a lot of generic support related details, but also how-to information on using SUSE Customer Center to create a Service Request, reaching out to SUSE Technical Support, escalate a ticket, etc.
The SUSE Technical Support Handbook can be found here : https://www.suse.com/support/handbook/
 
The SUSE Technical Support FAQ
 
This contains detailed information, for example on SUSE's Support Offerings and Policies, Incident Process information, but also details about the Chat system.
The support Frequently Asked Questions can be found here : https://www.suse.com/support/faq/
 
The SUSE Product Support Lifecycle
 
Another essential resource is the SUSE Product Support Lifecycle, which contains the information when the 'General Support' phase for our products will end. This will determine if SUSE Technical Support can provide support for our product, or if this requires an additional support offering to be purchased by our customers first.
 
The SUSE Product Support Lifecycle can be found here : https://www.suse.com/lifecycle/
 

Situation

When using self-support such as our SUSE Knowledgebase or our forums SUSE Support forums (archive only) and SUSE Community are not sufficient to resolve encountered problems, then please reach out to our SUSE Technical Support organization by opening a Case.
 
When opening a Case with SUSE Technical Support, provide the relevant details to the problem so that our Technical Support engineers have sufficient details to investigate the problem. The full set of questions we like to see answered are listed in the SUSE Technical Support Handbook under the section 'Information to include in your Incident'. 
When communicating with SUSE Technical Support via email on any support cases, it is important to not strip the Reference ID string from either the subject line or email body (anything between ref: xxxx :ref). This ID ensures your update will make it into our system.
 
When opening a Case via the SUSE Customer Center, to allow the engineer to start the initial investigation, please see the details below:

Please provide answers to the following questions:

Exactly WHAT is the problem?
  • Which version of the SUSE product is (or products are) having the problem?
  • Which service pack version is installed ?
  • What problem is observed, and/or error messages (if any) are returned?
  • What troubleshooting steps have already been performed?
  • What is the expected behaviour or functioning of the system?

Exactly WHEN does the problem occur?
  • When did the problem first occur?
  • Did it occur once or does it occur repeatedly?
  • Were changes made prior to the problem occurring? If so, what (new installation of products, service packs, network changes, storage reconfiguration, and so forth, for example)?

Exactly WHAT is the extent of the problem?
  • Is a workaround available?
  • What is the business impact of the problem? (How many users are affected? A description of how this problem impacts production)

 

What kind of data is required by SUSE Technical Support

SUSE Technical Support uses various troubleshooting tools to investigate any issue, but we always start with asking for what we call a 'supportconfig'. This tool is part of the supportutils package. A full description of supportconfig self service can be found here in this TID: Supportconfig Self Service via SCC/FTP
 
To create a system overview report for SUSE Technical Support, please run (as the root user):
 
supportconfig -l
 
This tool will collect relevant system information and create a compressed file in the '/var/log/' directory with the following file name:
scc_$HOSTNAME_$DATE_$TIME.txz
 
Please ensure to always run the most recent version of supportutils that is available for better results, and please attach this file to the service request directly via the SCC portal. If outbound FTP traffic has been allowed in the corporate firewall, the archive may get uploaded from the server directly to the service request by using the following command:
 
supportconfig -ur <case_number>
 
Note : The latest version of the supportconfig tool will also default to uploading files to a SUSE FTP server, and no longer defaults to the FTP protocol but defaults to the https:// protocol instead. This is to overcome many restrictions that some customers may have placed on using FTP services.
 
For SUSE Expanded Support systems, the supportconfig tool should not be used, but a so called 'sosreport' should be provided.

Kernel Core Dump capture

If a system crashes, the possibility of capturing a kernel core dump is given using kdump. Its configuration is explained in this TID Configure kernel core dump capture
A best practices document about providing the resulting kernel core dumps to SUSE Technical Support is available at this TID Best practice for providing kernel core dumps to support incidents.
 
For SLES Expanded Support system, please consult the corresponding online documentation for RHEL on configuring kdump. 
 
Please note: kernel core dumps must have been written completely to the dump device. To ensure this is the case, set KDUMP_IMMEDIATE_REBOOT to "yes" in /etc/sysconfig/kdump and wait for the system to reboot itself. Note that cores can be large, so, depending on the size of the memory of the system and write speed, this may take a while. Forcing a reboot manually could interrupt the writing and result in an incomplete core. If the dump is incomplete for whatever reason an analysis will not be possible. 

Application Crash Dump capture

When individual services crash, this will usually create an entry in the journal (run coredumpctl list) or a file called core or core.<pid>. We typically require an application crash bundle that contains the binary that crashed and shared libraries. Details on how to capture this can be found here How to Use getappcore for SUSE Technical Support

Steps to trace system reboots

In certain situations, it is possible that no crash messages can be found in /var/log/messages (especially in case of situations where the system management board reset the hardware). Please also check if /var/log/mcelog contains any reports. 
If this is the case, a hardware check should be started in the first place, and all hardware components should get patched to the most recent BIOS / firmware level. If the system crashes more often without leaving evidence connect a second system via a serial connection as outlined in Configuring a Remote Serial Console for SLES

Virtualization layers

When a SLE system is running on a virtualization platform, please share the details for that platform with us.
In case of hardware virtualization platforms such as VMWare, Citrix, etc. Please share details such as the platform version, VM details, etc
 

High Availability

For any problems related to High Availability, please provide the HB report details when opening a Service Request.
Details on how to capture these details can be found here : Usage of hb_report for SLES HAE.
 

SAP HANA

For any problems related to pacemaker cluster in connection with SAP HANA, please provide the data as requested here: Indepth HANA Cluster Debug Data Collection (PACEMAKER, SAP)

When HAE is involved in the SAP setup, please also provide the hb_report as outlined in the 'High Availability'  section above or in Indepth HANA Cluster Debug Data Collection (PACEMAKER, SAP) in section 1)
 

SUSE Enterprise Storage (SES)

The rule of thumb for any issues experienced with a SES cluster is to provide the following :
  • supportconfig from the Admin / DeepSea node.
  • supportconfig from each of the node(s) hosting the service(s) with which problems are observed.
For example, if there is a problem with a specific OSD (Object Storage Daemon) e.g. the OSD crashes, generate and attach supportconfig files for the node hosting the specific OSD(s) and also from the Admin node.  
 
SUSE Openstack Cloud  (SOC)
The rule of thumb for any issues experienced with a SOC environment is to provide the following :
  • supportconfig from the Admin node.
  • supportconfig from all the Controller nodes.
  • supportconfig from the Compute node(s) with which problems are observed.

SUSE Container as a Service Platform  (CaaSP)

The rule of thumb for any issues experienced with a CaaSP setup is to provide the following :
  • supportconfig from the Admin node.
  • supportconfig from the Master nodes.
  • For Velum related problems, a screenshot from the Velum interface on the admin node.

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7023848
  • Creation Date: 01-May-2019
  • Modified Date:18-Oct-2021
    • SUSE Caas Platform
    • SUSE Enterprise Storage
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications
    • SUSE Manager
    • SUSE End of Life
    • SUSE Cloud Application Platform

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