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When filing a Support Request in the My VMware Support Portal, you may notice there is a selection of five KB articles presented underneath the form after you tell us a few things about your issue. These articles are put there to help you resolve your issue before you have even spoken to someone, but did you know there is some intelligence behind what we show you? Today we will explore how we pick these KB articles. It is a rather involved and complicated process, but read on to discover how it’s done.

When you file a Support Request with VMware, everything related to what is done to resolve your issue, is kept as a record. This helps us spot trends, and keep track of issues that may occur frequently. After a certain amount of time, we gather reports to see what common KB articles are used to resolve an issue by the support engineers. The engineers document which KB articles they used in each and every support request they resolve. We then look at the ratings of the article, and how many times it has been linked to. If the KB article maintains a rating above three stars and is linked-to quite frequently, we know that KB article is particularly useful in helping people to resolve that issue. That’s not the only thing we do. We also comb through the case notes of Support Requests to pick up out trends, such as did a virtual machine lock up, did your ESXi host crash, did vCenter Server stop responding, etc.

This is all categorized by different selections our Technical Support Engineers make as they work your support request. We call these vCats which is the problem category, for example Host/Installation, and then a subcategory to describe the issue, a vSubCat, such as a Storage Failure. All this information is trended and tracked. We analyze the data with utilities that can spot these trends automatically although there is a manual component to it. Combing through this data can be a time consuming task. We have ways to automate our reports, but much of the qualitative aspect of analyzing this data is done by perusing spreadsheets, reading comments from the Technical Support Engineers, and the feedback we receive from customers.

Finally, when choosing the KB articles for the My VMware Support Portal we tend to target KB articles that utilize multiple steps and checks to troubleshoot the issue. We call these types of articles Resolution Paths. These step through specific issues step by step, and provide you a process for which to resolve your issue, such as an issue of virtual machine not being able to start up. In this way, it is also revealed how a Technical Support Engineer may troubleshoot the issue.

All in all, the idea is that these KB articles will help you save some time. Hopefully, you find these useful, and think about taking a gander at these KB articles next time an issue arises.