Optimize Your Official Zimbra Support Experience

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This page is for all Zimbra Licensing customers and covers how to maximize your Official Zimbra.com Support experience.

XMission is a long-time Zimbra Gold Partner and can help you with hosted email or licensing for your on-site server needs. https://xmission.com/licensing

The Basics: Zimbra Server Licensing and Support

Zimbra Email & Collaboration Suite (ZCS) server software is generally installed on-premise, in the cloud (via AWS or similar), or managed by a service provider such as XMission in their datacenter.

Zimbra Server Licensing includes paid Network Edition, which offers either Professional Edition or Standard Edition mailboxes. Licensing also requires a Premier Support or Standard Support agreement which is sold in 1, 2, or 3 year terms.

This wiki page also addresses official Zimbra.com Open Source Support (ZOSS) for Open Source Edition and the Zimbra Suite Plus tools. ZOSS support is equivalent to Standard Support for Network Edition.

Zimbra Support Mission Statement

The official Zimbra.com Support mission statement.

"Support every customer as if we are the customer by providing quality, accurate and timely support."

What this means to the Zimbra.com Support team:

  • Every case that is open is important;
  • Your problem is their problem—and they are an extension of your team;
  • They strive to provide prompt and accurate responses;
  • They'll always be honest; (If the tech doesn't know the answer they will tell you and then escalate.)
  • They'll collaborate with The Technical Support Team (TSE) to guide cases to resolution;
  • They'll utilize direct communication with Product Development to escalate issues.

Simple steps to improve your support experience:

Zimbra.com support has been improving the customer's experience by making sure staffing matches regional case load, increased technical training, and improved analytics of support issues to identify and resolve trends.

You will improve your support experience by following these simple steps:

Open cases within the support portal;

  • Always open cases under the correct account; (If a Zimbra Partner or Reseller is assisting, make sure they identify who they are and for whom they are opening the ticket. They should use your Zimbra Support portal credentials.)
  • Provide as much data as possible using the portal or by responding to the support email with the Case ID in the Subject line. When responding, please include:
    • Version;
    • Time & Date when the issue occurred;
    • Contact and contact information, if different than the credentials for the license file;
    • Hours, including time zone, when support can call you back;
    • Steps to recreate issues;
    • Logs and full error messages; (zmdiaglog, LDAP, local config, zmdump output)
    • Screenshots or video of issue;
    • Test accounts with secure passwords;
    • The latest changes, customizations, and basic architecture of your systems;
    • Updates of anything changed before Support contacts you.
    • Preemptively send your config by exporting your ldap config by running the following as the zimbra user
      • > /opt/zimbra/libexec/zmslapcat /tmp/
      • This should create a '/tmp/ldap.bak' file containing your entire setup. A very efficient way of sending your config to Zimbra Support.
      • Sites with multiple Zimbra nodes, run zmslapcat from your nodes running ldap*

Knowledge Helps

Customers have the best experience when they take responsibility for their needs. This means taking the time to understand the details on their support contract purchased, reading the Zimbra Support details page, and knowing support severity levels so they can effectively communicate them to the Zimbra Support team.

Zimbra Support Severity Levels

Zimbra Support has four primary severity levels. The severity will address the response time in which support is provided.

Severity-1: Means your production server or other mission-critical system(s) are HARD DOWN, no workaround is immediately available, and all or a substantial portion of your mission-critical data is at a significant risk of loss or corruption or you have had a substantial loss of service. Most of your mailbox users are severely impacted and your admin is seriously struggling.

These can be the most difficult experiences and Zimbra Technical Support will work until a resolution and/or workaround has been provided, according to the Premier or Standard coverage hours as specified by your Support Level Agreement.

Severity-2: Major functionality is severely impaired such that: operations can continue in a restricted fashion, although long-term productivity might be adversely affected; a major milestone is at risk; ongoing and incremental installations are affected; or a temporary workaround is available. So, your server still works but things are rough for you and all of your users. Your admin probably not pleased but can still find their "happy place".

Severity-3: A partial, non-critical loss of functionality of the software such that: the operation of some component(s) is impaired but allows the user to continue using the software; or initial installation milestones are at minimal risk. This likely impacts a small handful of mailbox users and your admin is just looking for a little guidance.

Severity-4: General usage questions and cosmetic issues, including errors in the documentation, and cases opened via email for Zimbra software. These issues are most likely annoying but not critical and can certainly be addressed in the coming days through email.

How to best address a Severity 1 case.

Remember, Zimbra's Support Objective is to restore the system to a working status for all Severity 1 issues

Severity 1 Process:

This is very similar to the steps identified above.

Inside the Support Portal under Support Cases open your case using your license file account credentials.

  • Select "1 Critical Service Outage"
  • Provide contact & phone number if different than on record. Include callback times and time zone. NOTE: Support calls the primary contact on file by default.
  • Provide as much data as possible.
  • For system performance, obtain a zmdiaglog before restarting any process.
  • List changes made prior to the issue.
  • Identify what troubleshooting steps have been completed.

It is possible that a request to restore the system to previous configuration may occur so please have your backups ready.

Zimbra Support Hours and Notes:

Important details about Zimbra.com Support Desk hours.

  • Premier Support agreements include After Hour support for Severity 1 cases.
  • After Hour (Weekend and Holiday) Support
  • Only Severity 1 cases are worked on during Weekends and Holidays.
  • Standard and FOSS Support agreements do not provide After Hour support.
  • During after hours, Support will be unable to upgrade support levels. You need to work with XMission Zimbra Sales to upgrade the agreement.

Scheduling Major Work

Key items to be aware of when scheduling what Zimbra considers to be Major Work which includes:

  • Migrations
  • Upgrades
  • Customizations

Complete the Major Work checklist:

  • Inform Zimbra Support
  • Check license status
  • Document & test process
  • Verify backups (Zimbra backup, snapshot, backup LDAP and MYSQL)
  • Verify support portal access
  • Verify & backup certificates
  • Verify network (internal, external)
  • Zimbra repo & license server
  • Verify that other organizations in your company are aware of your scheduled work (network, storage, firewall virtual team )

Note: Customizations are not supported by Zimbra Support but they will assist with restoring to default setup upon requested.

What is not Zimbra Support responsibility

What happens when a case you opened is not the responsibility of Support?

Requests outside of Zimbra.com Support's responsibility will redirect to the correct organization. Remember, the Zimbra Support team wants your problems resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible, but some items they simply can't help with.

Such requests outside of Zimbra Support's responsibility include:

  • License requests (new, trial, modification, or activation requests)
  • Expiring or expired Support Agreement
  • Only your reseller (XMission) can renew or upgrade your Support Agreement
  • System sizing
  • Professional service requests

Note: When they can't help you, Zimbra Support will always verify that the proper team is aware of the request. When this happens, your case is no longer with listed as owned by Zimbra Support inside the customer portal.

Bugs and enhancement cases.

All cases resulting in a verified software bug will be kept open for the length of the bug life. Bugs will be managed using the Zimbra New Bug Fix/Reporting Process. Support will periodically send bug status updates. Cases associated to a bug that are closed will receive a survey related to the bug process.

For more information about the bug process, please view this blog post: https://blog.zimbra.com/2018/05/zimbras-new-bug-fix-reporting-process/

When you have a case resulting in an enhancement request being sent to the dev team, Zimbra Support will provide internal RFE number within the case communication. Your cases associated in an enhancement request will be closed as resolved by Zimbra Support.

If you need to open a new case to follow-up on an enhancement request through Zimbra Support or your Zimbra Reseller, please email XMission Zimbra Licensing.

All such requests will be reviewed by Synacor's Zimbra Product Management and Development team as they have the final say on when, or if, a request will be fulfilled.

Note: Zimbra Support is your advocate to product management and development but Zimbra Support does not schedule or define when bugs or enhancements will be resolved.

Sounds easy enough, right? If not, we are happy to answer your questions about the Zimbra Support process, email zimbrasales@xmission.com