When people tell me MSFT or some other software vendor supports something why don’t you as a service provider support it I chuckle and say
"Oh really, what kind of SLA guarantee do they offer? What kind of penalty for not meeting the defined goal agreement?"
Plain and simple… Service Providers and Software Vendors have very different definitions of supported.
I live in both worlds, my real job is in one space and personally, you probably know this, but I offer software. Look around the site, you will find it all over. I even support the software, but I don’t guarantee it will do anything for you nor do I even guarantee it won’t scratch the paint on your car, for the full body of the joeware warranty statement see http://www.joeware.net/freetools/warranty.htm. Service Providers generally, usually have support contracts that specify SLAs/Os as well as penalties for not meeting those goals. If you want Service Provider type support for my software, let me know, if your pockets are deep enough we can probably make a deal.
So, when you are about to tell some professional in the Enterprise Service Provider support space "Vendor X supports Y done in a Z way, why don’t you?" you should first ask yourself…
- What is the SLA?
- What is the penalty for SLA failure? How much money will you get back for every 10 minutes past the SLA that something isn’t working as it was previously and should be?
- Are they charging you for every minute they are helping in the failure or is it all part of the existing support agreement and will be until the issue is fully resolved and you are back to where you were before the failure?
- Does the support mean they will get "SOMETHING" up and running again so you can start putting your business back together again or is it that you will have what you started with so you can start working as if nothing happened again?
- e.g. Your AD Forest goes pear shaped, you can’t restore from backup because backups are screwed too, you build a brand new forest and now the basic product is working again but you still can’t work the way you did before the outage.
- That fits the supported definition of most Software Vendors but generally not Service Providers.