Enterprise Linux support is one of the two primary advantages to purchasing the commercial version of a Linux software product, rather than downloading the free version from the open source project. The other is the increased testing and hardening that is built into the commercial version. Together, they give the enterprise a product that is much more stable and fit for the high demands of a modern data center, and provide the IT organization with all of the technical support, updates, and patches that they need to maintain the product over its lifecycle.
When an enterprise version of a Linux product is purchased, the vendor will typically offer a variety of support packages that offer different levels of service. For example, SUSE offers support subscriptions that entitle the customer to receive technical support via chat, phone, or web, plus regular software upgrades and patches. The Standard subscription provides support 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday, with a 2-hour guaranteed response time for a Severity 1 issue. The Priority subscription provides 24×7 access to support with a 1-hour guaranteed response time for Severity 1 issues.
In addition to the two levels of support subscriptions, SUSE Premium support options add more customized service, such as a dedicated support engineer who is assigned to support one specific business and may even work onsite at your business. A Service Account Manager (SAM) is another Premium support option, which gives you an advocate to coordinate all support efforts done for you, take any escalated calls for you, and proactively help you plan for technology projects.