Diagnosing computer problems is part science and part art. Problems can result from hardware failures, software bugs, bad data, misconfiguration, and user errors among many other things. With a simple hardware failure there are usually a limited number of parts that can fail, and even an obscure/intermittent hardware problem can generally be solved (in the absolute worst case) by completely replacing one system module at a time.
But problems that involve system software and its use generally have so many possible causes that one can’t simply try every possible solution. Instead a methodical problem investigation process combined with experience and a deep knowledge of the subsystems involved is needed to ensure a timely resolution to complex problems.
Allegro’s software support services provide the knowledge, tools, and methodologies needed for both the most complex software related problems, as well as regular day to day operational questions.
Common examples of things we help customers with every day include:
- Helping set up (or recover) logical volume and file system configurations, redundancy, etc.
- Performing system and process crash dump analysis.
- Making patch analyses and recommendations.
- Working with hardware support on software vs. hardware problem determination.
- Assisting with recovery/reconstruction after hardware failures.
- Providing basic performance analysis and recommendations.
- Configuring new hardware into the OS.
- Validating backup, verification, and restore procedures, and providing disaster recovery assistance when needed.
- Answering questions about system startup/initialization and shutdown configuration and procedures.
- Providing scripting assistance for system administration task automation.
- Answering general operating system usage questions and providing best practices advice.
- Advising on version upgrade questions and recommendations, planning for system changes, etc.
- Delivering regular customized reporting to both partners and customers.
- Providing periodic server risk analyses.
- A customer calls with a question about whether they are affected by a new security bulletin. The partner company routes the call to Allegro where it is directly answered by an experienced software support specialist who determines that the customer already has a software revision that includes the fix.
- A partner company has a question about the software impact of replacing a CPU module as part of a hardware repair. The field engineer places a call to Allegro which is directly answered by a specialist who is able to address their concern and assure them that they have the correct procedure to handle the software side of the change.
- A critical customer system fails at 2:00 AM on a Sunday morning. Allegro specialists join the customer’s bridge call as part of a coordinated response, and remain on the line offering advice and consultation as the process of problem determination, repair, and recovery are completed over the next 18 hours.