Has anybody ever used their technical support incidents that you get with MSDN? What sorts of things can you use them for?
The MSDN site says the following:
To resolve technical break-fix issues in a non-production environment and are the equivalent of paid Professional support incidents.
To find a solution to a production issue if you can replicate that issue in a non-production environment
I've got an issue with a production server that seems to merit burning an incident, and it seems like a waste to have these support incidents from MSDN and never use them. Is there any way around this "non-production" stipulation?
I've only dealt with their escalation engineers on sql server within a production scope, but i can say that in every incident, they have been top notch, world-class professionals (cannot say the same with other software vendors). I agree it's a waste to have the tickets and not use them. You end up learning other things during the investigation.
If in doubt, just ask... I'm sure the first tier folks would verify if your issue was within scope.
to answer the question about reproducing in the non-prod environment... i think this is a gray area. some things are impossible to reproduce especially if there is a load component or "you simply don't know" component to the issue.
@kettch:Same as above. You can always ask first. If they determine your support request is out of scope they'll tell you can quote you the charges.
That said in my experience they do take much care whether it's production problem or not. Just bear in mind that you can'r "rush" them to say your case is urgent, as "urgent" is what a upper tier support is designed for.
The last time I called for their support incident, with about 6-7 "back and forward" and the need for me to gather more data, it required about a week to end the case.
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