VMWare Support – that’s how it should be! Makes a lousy admin happy!

I am amazed. Really!
Last weekend I bought VMWare Fusion 6 Professional for a course I am attending.
Unfortunately, the lab setup explanation only covers Windows XP (oh my god) and VMWare Viewer. Those poor Mac users are on their own. And the whole setup is kinda special. You need a NAT configuration with a fixed IP and a nonstandard subnet for a Linux client and server installation.
I had VMWare Fusion 3, but that does not let you easily configure other NAT networks, if at all, but Fusion 6 does just that, so I thought. As I have said about a hundred times before, I hate admin work – hence the Mac – and I am not good at it (that’s why I am following that course) and I am biased towards KVM (made usable by Collax for common mortals) as a virtualization product (Yeah right, no client based virtualization from KVM, I do know that). That was the starting position.
After installing Fusion I loaded the ready to use VM’s and configured the NAT as requested. And as expected, it did not work. After fiddling around for a while I decided to contact VMWare Support. After all, you get 18 month (that’s eighteen! Not some lousy 3 or if you are very nice 6 month) complementary support – which means „by email“. The first 2 days that support portal just did not work and the self-help knowledge base let’s you go in circles, because it opens often the same page which you just came from (by clicking on a link promising more explanation, that is). Got a tiny bit angry there, but I could have used the phone. On the third day, though, the web tool worked. I expected some email conversation but surprise surprise, I got a phone call from a very nice Indian fellow. Normally I only get phone calls with Indians on the other end, from Microsoft, informing me that my Windows sends messages about a virus around. Last time they called me, I responded with „Microsoft Security Department, how can I help you?“ That blithering idiot called me a dam liar, figure that. That from somebody who could not look in the mirror in the morning, without being sucked in and sent to hell for eternal helpdesk work. Unfortunately they have stopped calling me. I became a fun game to make them run up the walls and calling me names. Just to find out I had a Mac, took them several minutes and that hopefully saved an old granny from being ripped off by those lower life forms.
Not so with VMWare’s support personnel. After explaining my problem, we got to work and using Teamviewer were trying to figure out, how to have a configuration, that I can use the VM’s as expected. I don’t know why VMWare decided to contact me by phone (they don’t use Notes, do they), but it is a nice gesture and naturally lots better than email. Took us two days to make it work, actually. VMWare got out of its way and tested a few things, while I was sleeping.
The only thing that makes working with VMWare Support a bit difficult is, that my Indian friend was … you expected that … in India. Fortunately I work a lot from home, but doing that stuff when the kids are around, makes it less amusing. When they get hungry, they start chewing on the carpet.
I am a happy camper now and that is thank’s to VMWare’s exemplary support … apart from the knowledge base, but they probably know that. That network configuration will be sent to my course management and hopefully will help others.

Since I am in the yellow bubble, I can not help it, but compare it to my IBM’s support experience. When IBM introduced Lotus Foundation, they had an outstanding support (the old Nitix support in fact). Call or send an email and somebody would jump to the occasion to help you. It went down the hill, when that support was integrated in the standard workflow of IBM’s support.

And now the best part: VMWare gave me an email address to use, if I have any problems in the future. No more web portal for me, ha! That’s how I like it.
Now I can go back in my corner end weep silently, after Emirates Team New Zealand lost the ol‘ mug.