IBM clarifies support for Lotus products on VMWare

This technote has been around for a few months now, but it has only just found its way onto my radar.  

Many of us will already be deploying Lotus solutions onto VMware-based environments – the flexibility and cost benefits of moving to a virtualised environment are well known.  However, most will be making the assumption that IBM supports VMWare for all Lotus products and that it therefore has no impact on the support arrangements your organisation has.  However, this is not quite the formal situation:

VMware product support information for IBM Lotus Domino-based server products

Question

This document clarifies the type of customer support provided by IBM Technical Support when Lotus Domino server operates in a VMware environment. This support statement applies to Domino server, and to Domino-based products including Lotus Enterprise Integrator, QuickPlace, Lotus Quickr, Sametime, and Domino Document Manager (Domino.Doc).


Answer

When a customer calls in with a standard usage or defect-related service request, and indicates that they are running on VMware ESX Server, IBM Technical Support will make best efforts to resolve the problem
. We will assume that the problem is common to both native and VMware environments, and we will only require the customer (or the VMware SupportLine team) to recreate the problem if there is an indication that the problem may be unique to the VMware environment. If the client has purchased an IBM ServicePac Agreement (for VMware), the IBM VMware support team can assist in reproducing the problem in accordance with the terms of that agreement.

No capacity planning work or quality engineering testing has been done for Lotus products in this environment.
Customers should work with their account team to ensure that proposed VMware based configurations have adequate capacity to meet the demands of the target environment. We recommend caution in running large production workloads on VMware, due to likely performance and scalability issues that are inherent in VM-type environments.

If the use of VMware is required for a customer solution, IBM provides support for VMware via Support Line.


If the question is about performance or scalability issues, the VMware SupportLine Team will make best efforts to determine if the problem is caused by the VMware environment. That determination will then guide the subsequent ownership for working the problem.


This VMware support statement applies to any VMware ESX deployment, whether it is on xSeries servers or competitive Intel-based hardware (for example, Dell). The VMware SupportLine offering covers all Intel-based hardware platforms running under Linux or Windows.


Notes:

1. The above applies to service requests within scope for Passport Advantage support as per the “Software Support Handbook.”


2. The above statement is for Remote Technical Support only and does not indicate whether IBM products are “certified” to operate in a VMware environment. “Official” environment statements are made in individual IBM product announcements.

[Emphasis mine]

I think that this stance is a fair one – IBM will fully support Lotus environments on VMWare, and only ask for the issue to be recreated on a standalone system if there is an indication that VMWare is the cause.  Worth noting.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!