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 for products that comply with our Product 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.  

 

L3 Subscriptions

For L3 Subscriptions purchased via a partner please see the section below in regards to your support options.    

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.  

 

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:  

For servers 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 SUSE solution product.  
  • 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. 

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 more effectively manage your request 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? 

https://www.suse.com/support/kb/doc/?id=000019452 - for details 

Opening a Support Case 

SUSE provides one convenient portal for you to manage your subscriptions and access support: SUSE Customer Center.  

Please adhere to our Severity definitions

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

Closing an Incident

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

Incidents with no customer response may also be closed at our discretion and\or the severity reduced.  

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.  

 

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 

Support does not provide support for these scenarios. 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) / Consulting: System and network design, Optimization, Custom Scripts and Configuration  
    • Questions around design or architecture 
  • 3rd Party 
    • In case the issue can be related to any 3rd party software, we request customers to engage with the responsible 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 
  • Third-party software 
  • Third-party drivers 
  • 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 are Level 3 (L3) subscriptions? 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 Information

Support Level Definitions 

Level of Support 

Description 

Level 0 

This is self-help and user-retrieved information whereby the customer can review our documentation, on-line knowledge base, our best practices guides, FAQ's and  analyze  and upload our SupportConfig log collectors. 

 

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. 

Other Helpful links

Here are some additional links that you might find helpful: 

If you have an additional question about support, view the Frequently Asked Questions to see if we have an answer.