SUSE Technical Support Handbook

SUSE Technical Support handbook 

This Support Handbook is your guide to working with SUSE Technical Support. Popular topics include: 

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What is SUSE Technical Support? 

Support is available with a valid subscription containing a support entitlement in combination with a product that is under support as per our Product Support Lifecycle.  

The table below explain the different subscription options, hours of coverage, and the maximum target response times* upon case creation. 

* A response is defined as the time between creation of the case and the initial communication between the support engineer and the contact who raised the case. 

Standard entitlement

Severity 

Hours of coverage 

Target response time** 

1 (Critical) 

12x5* 

2 Business Hours  

2 (High) 

12x5 

4 Business Hours  

3 (Medium) 

12x5 

 Next Business Day  

4 (Low) 

12x5 

 Next Business Day  

Priority entitlement

Severity

Hours of coverage 

Target response time 

1 (Critical) 

24x7 

1 Hour  

2 (High) 

24x7 

2 Hours 

3 (Medium) 

24x7 

4 Business Hours 

4 (Low) 

24x7 

Next Business Day 

*Business hours defined as: 

  • EMEA – GMT+1 (CET) – 6am to 6pm - Mon to Fri 
  • US – GMT-6 (MT) – 6am to 6pm - Mon to Fri  
  • APJ – GMT+8 (SGT) – 6am to 6pm – Mon to Fri 

Standard Business Hours do not include weekends or local public holidays. 

  • CET = Central European Time 
  • MT = Mountain Time 
  • SGT = Singapore Time 

**The target response time applies to the period when Support is available. For example, if you open a Severity 1 support case using your Standard entitlement on a Saturday morning the support team will respond on the next Business Day, in this example on Monday.  

Severity level definitions

SUSE uses a unified Severity approach to determine targeted response times: 

Severity Level 

Description 

Severity 1 (Critical) 

The solution is in production or is mission critical to your business. It is inoperable and the situation is resulting in a total disruption of work. There is no workaround available. 

 

Severity 2 (High) 

Defined as an incident where core software functionalities can continue to operate in a restricted fashion, although long-term productivity may be impacted. If a Severity 2 issue has an identified and implemented workaround it will be reclassified as a Severity 3 issue. 

 

Severity 3 (Medium) 

 Defined as an incident that causes partial, non-critical loss of software functionality. It may also be a software defect (bug) or impact when performing certain actions and there is no known workaround. 

 

Severity 4 (Low) 

There is no loss of service. Defined as: (1) a request for information or query, (2) feature requests for the software, or (3) software defect and workaround that has medium or low functionality impact.  

Case severity may be changed at the sole discretion of SUSE Support. 

Policies when working with Support

Policies and best practices you should consider when working with support: 

  • Support operates in a break-fix model that excludes tasks listed in section "What is not supported". 
  • User management, support subscriptions, support cases and other account specific information is tracked through the SUSE Customer Center (SCC) portal. 
  • When contacting support for assistance it may be requested to update a system to the latest generally available patch level:  
  • See this KB Article for further information on this topic. 

For systems where support is requested under Long Term Service-Request Support (=LTSS) agreements, it is expected that these servers are updated to latest LTSS maintenance patches. For further information on LTSS please check here 

Support self-help

Scope of support

What is supported 

  • Usage problems where the product is not behaving as expected. 
    • Customer specific modifications can fall out of scope (in comparison to existing documentation) 
  • Troubleshooting related to: 
    • Installation errors 
    • Configuration errors 
    • Out of the box not working functionality  
    • Booting issues (e.g., after patching) 
  • Defect (bug) reports. 
    • Support will file bug reports with the engineering team and provide updates on the progress as they become available. SLA/SLO cannot be guaranteed when escalated.  
    • Fixes will be determined by engineering and a patch will be provided in an upcoming maintenance release (or be back ported). SLA/SLO cannot be guaranteed when escalated. 
  • Performance degradation issues 
    • Support will analyze whether a degradation of performance lies within the core SUSE operating system. 
    • The default severity will be set to Severity 3 (Medium). 
  • Root Cause Analysis (RCA) 
    • The default severity will be set to Severity 3 (Medium). 
    • An RCA cannot be guaranteed for any of the following reasons: 
      • If the logs are unavailable or inconclusive; Crash dump has not been enabled.  
      • If the environment is not stable. 
  • Remote Session
    • The SUSE approved tool for remote sessions with our customers is Bomgar
    • For security departments, please also refer to here
    • Using any other solution (Zoom, Teams, Web-Ex, etc.) needs special approval from Support Management, SUSE will not accept any liabilities associated with using a non-approved tool. Customers have to confirm agreement to this exception.
    • SUSE recommends for all our partners and customers to work with their internal Security departments to agree on a security exception for the use of Bomgar. We understand this can take some time, so planning ahead before a typically critical issue materializes will speed up resolution times.

A single support case will only handle one issue from the above list. When the initial issue is resolved, it may be required to open additional cases to resolve further issues. If the case contact fails to engage with their support engineer on Severity 1 cases the engineer will reduce the severity of the case. 

How to effectively work with Support

For SUSE support engineers to manage your request more effectively it is important that you provide some basic information contained in the following questionnaire: 

  • WHICH product version is having the problem? 
  • WHAT is the problem? 
  • WHEN does/did the problem occur? 
  • WHAT is the impact of the problem? 

Click here for details 

Opening a support case

SUSE Customer Center is a convenient portal for you to manage your subscriptions and access support.

Please adhere to our Severity definitions

The following links will help you get started using this tool: 

Closing a support case

Engineers may close support cases if it is deemed the initial problem is resolved.  

Incidents with no customer response will see the severity to be reduced and may also be closed at our discretion. 

If a customer determines a case was closed prematurely or if further assistance is needed, on a different issue, additional support cases can be opened. Please reference old case numbers if there is a correlation. Please note that it will be required to provide new logs when opening a new case. 

Escalations

Escalations are based on severity and not on urgency as per our severity definition.

  • If you have an existing case that turned into a production down type of scenario, please request an Escalation by contacting your Support engineer.
  • You are experiencing a production outage. For this type of escalation, open a ticket with Severity 1. Contact your local support center via the phone numbers listed within SCC portal.
  • If you have an already assigned CSM / SDM please contact them directly via your dedicated channels.

What is not supported

The following scenarios are not supported as part of a subscription.  
However, SUSE Global Services has a team ready to assist you and get you from where you are to where you want to go. 

  • Consulting 
    • Installation 
    • Configuration
    • System maintenance
    • System and network design
    • Optimization
    • Custom scripts
    • Questions about design or architecture
  • 3rd Party 
    • In case the issue can be related to any 3rd party software, we request customers to engage with the respective vendor.
  • Performance issues 
  • Provide Training 
  • Products that are outside of general life cycle support (EOL) 
    • Customers may continue to use these products through the subscription term, but SUSE will not provide technical support should any questions arise. When the subscription expires, customers will need to migrate to a new solution.  
  • Systems that are not properly patched
  • Uncertified hardware/hypervisors 
  • Tainted Kernels
  • Code development 
  • Modified RPMs 
  • Packages included to satisfy dependencies 
  • Unregistered systems 
  • Custom repositories 
  • Scheduled stand-by and on-call support – This is a paid service, see here 
  • Security Auditing  
    • SUSE Support will not comment on the output of vulnerability scans, audits etc. by third party software.  
    • Before inquiring about information regarding a specific vulnerability, please check available resources:  
    • SUSE recommends for Customers interested in information about a specific vulnerability that possibly affects their systems to please share the CVE of that vulnerability and the estimated impact.  
    • Many 3rd party scanners only verify the software package version and will thus give very misleading information for SUSE software which will contain security patches and backports of upstream changes but with a SUSE specific version. 

Level 3 subscriptions

What is a Level 3 (L3) subscription? How are they different from regular subscriptions? 

Level 3 subscriptions are subscriptions where L1 and L2 support is provided by your hardware vendor or partner where you purchased these subscriptions. The vendor, upon their discretion, may choose to escalate an issue to SUSE. 
 
L3 subscriptions may be listed as L3-Priority or L3-Standard in the SUSE Customer Center (SCC) under your account. L3 subscriptions provide access to content in SCC such as downloads and updates but do not offer access to support.   

Language support 

We guarantee support in English unless otherwise agreed within a contract. English is required as it helps avoid language barrier differences if transitioning cases between global teams or dealing with defects that involve engineering and ensuring a smooth collaboration with product specialists. 

Additional Services 

Additional support options

On top of our world-class support, you can opt for a variety of additional paid support offerings that are tailored to your specific business objectives. 

Premium support services

Premium Support Services augments our world-class support by providing white-glove support services that include direct access to a named technical professional, improved response times, ability for schedule calls and scheduled stand-by. For details on our Premium Support Services, please, continue here

Consulting services

Design to simplify your business modernization journey. The consulting team can assist with system and network design, optimization, custom scripts, configuration.  

Training

SUSE offers a comprehensive portfolio of courses and certification paths.

Additional information 

Support level definitions 

Level of Support 

Description 

Level 0 

This is self-help and user-retrieved information whereby the customer can review our online documentationknowledge base, FAQ's. 

 

Level 1 

Problem determination by diagnosing configuration. Break-fix installation assistance, usage support, ongoing maintenance, and troubleshooting. Customer needs to be current on Maintenance in order to be entitled for support. 

Level 2 

 

Problem isolation and problem duplication, isolate a problem area and provide resolution for problems not resolved by Level 1 Support. Resolution may include reasonable workarounds. 

Level 3 

 

Problem resolution at a code level. Resolution means closure of the issue defined in the incident and may include configuration changes, implementation of a workaround, or providing a software patch. Resolution is not possible in all circumstances. 

Support contact numbers 

Americas

  • North America Support Centre (within the United States): +1 800 971 3100 
  • North America Support Centre (outside the United States): +1 832 502 2101 
  • Brazil and Latin America (8am to 5 pm local business hours) 
  • Brazil: +55 11 4040 9270 
  • Latin America (Spanish speaking): +55 11 4040 9270 

Asia Pacific (local language)

  • China: +86 800 810 6500, +86 400 810 6500 or +86 106 533 9240 
  • Japan: +81 5055 333 750 
  • India: +91 000800 919 0610 

Asia Pacific (English only)

  • Australia: +61 3 7034 6800 
  • New Zealand: +64 9 884 8396 
  • All other Asia Pacific Countries: +65 31 580 888 

Europe, Middle East and Africa

  • English: +44-330-128-9340 
  • German: +49 911-950-365-000 
  • Spanish: +34 910 48 7630 
  • French: +33-187-159-400 
  • Italian: +39-0230-456-030 
  • Portuguese: +35 1211-232-020 
  • Polish: +48 22 537 50 96 

Here are some additional links that you might find helpful: