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SolarWinds Lackluster Support

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Anyone else have some just terrible support experiences with SolarWinds or am I the only one?  Rarely do I actually get an answer to my question or it takes a good week or two to get an answer.   Today I moved SolarWinds to new servers and had an issue with Network Atlas not loading.  After monkeying with Solarwinds support for 1.5 hours and getting nowhere they took diagnostics and would get back to me which is fine.  What I did not realize until after I got off the phone is now my entire Orion site is down and not working.  So spent all day to move the servers and then get on the phone with support and things are now worse...  Anyone else been having this kind of fun with Solarwinds? 

1 Solution
Level 7

Hi Dave, my name is Miguel and I am one of the managers with the technical support team. 

Please accept our apologies for the poor support experiences you have had, we are very sorry to hear that.  We pride ourselves in providing world-class support to our customers globally, the last thing we want is to hear that you are struggling to get your questions answered or issues resolved, and for that, we apologize.

We will certainly monitor the current case closely to ensure there are no further delays.  In general, please feel free to reach out to TechnicalSupportFeedback@solarwinds.com anytime you are having challenges with support - hopefully not - and that will be routed to all support managers for action and escalation/visibility.

Please accept our apologies again.

Miguel Alvear | Manager, Technical Support

View solution in original post

67 Replies
Level 9

CASE: 1307593

I have a new SolarWinds deployment that is suffering from a crashes almost every other day. I have been waiting for support for hours to analyze logs and provide a solution. So far, three solutions have been implemented with a "wait and see if that works" conclusion. You can imagine how that helps you sleep at night. The solutions included, applying hot-fixes, increasing win-socket buffer sizes, adding database servers into the host file. When asking how those items might fix the problem, the technicians respond with an answer stating that its simply the go to fixes they deploy without knowing how or what those items do to fix the problems. After applying the win-socket buffer size the technician actually closed the case right away. I immediately re-opened the case to ask for more details about the issue. As I wait and wonder what is taking so long, I check back a while later. The technician closed the ticket stating the details were passed on when the win-socket buffer size was increased. Still waiting for the details for that fix that did not work.

A reboot brings the application back up, but then the countdown begins.  And if it is currently up, SolarWinds support will not attempt to fix the system before the next crash. The most I could get was a scheduled appointment the next day. Unfortunately for me, that is most likely when the next crash will occur. There is no sense of urgency or need to resolve issues before they impact your business.

I have stopped opening tickets online altogether because you usually don't get any kind of support on them or if you do its a day later from some guy on the other side of the globe that does not even work the hours you are working.  My list of things that either SolarWinds support made WORSE or has absolutely no clue how to fix.

1. Network Atlas - it no longer works with any domain credentials only the local admin user.  I have had this case open for a month and still they have no clue.

2. I was having a licensing issue so now every day when I open SolarWinds I get SAM maintenance due warning - and again no one has any idea how to fix.

3. I updated my SolarWinds suite and received a weird HTML error.  I opened a ticket on this last week.  Heard something from someone that they were going to contact me on Friday and they never did.

At this point I am holding off on my renewal and looking at other options.  For the amount of money we drop PER YEAR for support we should have not have to 'FIGURE IT OUT' with support.  Hell the only decent support I have got is with DPA but they purchased that product so they probably had to take the decent techs with them.   We have been doing some testing with PRTG Network Monitor to see if we can utilize it as a SolarWinds replacement.  Might be too tight on time this year but we also have next year....

Level 7

Yes, I have had poor experiences with the support as well. They actually tell you to use Thwack for the answers. That's great and all but for the $$$ that is charged I would expect full support and not be directed to user forums. I tried to open a ticket and kept getting an error please try later so I called them. This was a system down scenario after an upgrade. I called in for support and after 30 mins of waiting I gave up. I ended up doing a reinstall to fix the issue. To say I was disappoint is an understatement. Needless to say we will be looking for a SW replacement come renewal time!

Sounds like most of my support with SolarWinds over the past 6 months. The L1 techs are about L.5 techs and really don't know the answers and you get put on hold or it takes a week to get a real answer.  We just got our renewal as well and I am holding off on renewing for now to see if support is going to stay like this or if it will improve.  I had some SQL questions and the tech said "well we really don't support SQL" you will have to either hit up Thwack or talk to a DBA.  REALLY?  That's just a lame excuse for lack of knowledge.  Support the app but not the SQL DB that drives the app? 

tjbrownfield

Thank you for letting us know of this issue. I will be sure to pass this on to ensure you are taken care of. To better assist, what is your case # if you have one?

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Level 7

Hi Dave, my name is Miguel and I am one of the managers with the technical support team. 

Please accept our apologies for the poor support experiences you have had, we are very sorry to hear that.  We pride ourselves in providing world-class support to our customers globally, the last thing we want is to hear that you are struggling to get your questions answered or issues resolved, and for that, we apologize.

We will certainly monitor the current case closely to ensure there are no further delays.  In general, please feel free to reach out to TechnicalSupportFeedback@solarwinds.com anytime you are having challenges with support - hopefully not - and that will be routed to all support managers for action and escalation/visibility.

Please accept our apologies again.

Miguel Alvear | Manager, Technical Support

View solution in original post

Good morning. I wanted to chime in as I sit waiting for technical support to answer my call. I am one of the unlucky people who's original services have been bought out by Solarwinds. I was with GFI (logicNow) and when I had an issue with mailflow (hugely critical) I could have a live person who had knowledge on the phone in minutes. Now with Solarwinds, it feels like I have a little family working out of their basement. No call to support has been answered in months. I get sporadic emails. No real answers. I have to get someone from sales involved, then he gets someone to call me. Last person was in my system for over an hour and could not make things go. I am being forced onto the new mail assure platform and yet no one is really available to assist. Am I to believe that all Solarwinds acquisitions will be the same? I have had 3 resale products now go Solarwinds and all 3 have been poor transitions. This morning I have called sales, and no one. Support. No one. How many people work their? 6? Its 9am PST!!! 

Oh yeah the sales people - It is a joke a well.  They only respond when you want to purchase something.  It would be interesting to see what kind of mess is happening internally with Solarwinds because from the outside it looks like a big mess.

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I suspect there are different types of sales people, some more helpful and useful and responsive than others.  My SE responds quickly--within a few hours--anytime I reach out to him via e-mail, or if I mention him in Thwack.  He has pricing information, of course, but he also has a "real" SW engineer sitting across from him, and technical questions I pose are frequently followed up quickly with a telephone call to me, and I can hear him talking to the engineer in the adjacent cube about my questions or concerns.

Yes, I've had irritating SW sales people in the past.  My current SE is pretty helpful, and honest about this ability to support me when I ask technical questions.  And quick to get me in touch with the right resource for my current needs.

scott.tietjen​, this is about you.  Thanks for what you do for me and my company.

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Hi Shayne, apologies for the frustration this morning, thanks for bringing this to our attention. I have reached out to our support managers with your details. Do you have a support case # created yet?

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The whole migration process has been a masterclass in what NOT to do and how NOT to support the customers. I just got off the phone with support, and seems yet another promise made by sales has died: "Of course your customers will get spam reports like the old system, wont be a problem" . Guess what? Its a problem. LDAP sync with your customer servers to keep aliases and users up to date? " Yes, our system supports that" I have now discovered this is not yet functional.  My main rant is this was supposed to be a rather simple migration and I get the impression support is learning it at the same rate I am. I have wasted days now trying to get it right. The guide provided has some large holes and assumes everything ported over correctly with the migration button. It did not. So I have wasted time, looked like a fool to my customers and interrupted mailflow TWICE. Right now I am just going to wait for the dust to settle and decide how I move forward. Kind of exhausted. I know there are good people involved. And they are trying to help me. Steve and Brain, your help is appreciated. I just feel like this was ill planned, and if the cutover deadline is upon us now, this is when I finally got some support.

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Thanks Miguel. How about posting your email address out there so folks with lingering / unsolved issues can contact you directly. People like myself with a ticket that has been open for 6 months.

That way you can help fix the issue, or escalate the issue to the appropriate people. It would also give you the added benefit of seeing some of the pain your customers are feeling. Ultimately, if you are doing YOUR job correctly, you should see very little emails coming from customers.

Challenge accepted?

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Sooo... I did as suggested above in the "Correct Answer" provided. I sent an email to TechnicalSupportFeedback@solarwinds.com and requested assistance. It's now been 18 days since that email and... nothing. I'm still in the dark with the status of my ticket.

Shouldn't tech support management get involved in (or at least want updates on) tickets that have been open for more than 6 months?

I feel like my point, and the point of this discussion is being proven before everyone's eyes.

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Please forgive me for re-pasting something from two days ago, but it seems timely and pertinent:

To minimize my SW Support Call stress, I follow the this process:

  1. Research the application's Manual and look for the answer myself.  If the problem has anything to do with configuring SW products, or understanding how to use them, the answer is probably right in the documentation, so I RTFM.
  2. Go to Thwack and click on the Magnifying Glass and search for the problem and its answers there.
  3. Post a question to the appropriate section in Thwack, describing the issue completely, and including info about my unique network deployment and needs.  Many times I get a helpful response within the day--sometimes within the hour!
  4. If these resources come up short, then I go the Poller in question and run the Diagnostics Wizard.  It takes a while to complete, and if I have more than one APE, I get all of them generating Diagnostics.  While they're doing this, I:
  5. Open a Support Case online with Solarwinds.  I provide all the data, all my concerns, screen shots, errors, descriptions of my SW modules' versions, etc.
  6. By the time I've completed the online case building, it's likely my APE's have completed their diagnostics generation.  Using the online Case Ticket ID, I then go to each poller and upload the diagnostics to Solarwinds, referencing the Ticket ID.
  7. Then--and ONLY then--do I call Support.  And I only call Support if there's a pretty dire or annoying situation that I haven't been able to remediate by researching the online product manuals or Thwack.
  8. Once Support is on the line, I read them off the Case ID I built previously.  All the screen shots and diagnostics are already uploaded, they're pleased and surprised at having everything they need to start working immediately on understanding the issue.  They assign the ticket to a Tech who will e-mail/call me when they've become familiar with the issue.
  9. I open RDP sessions open to my APE's, start up the SW Management Console interface, and join the WebEx and let the SW Tech remotely manage my PC.

It's the most efficient use of my time--particularly when I know that Support can take a long time to pick up the phone.

The bottom line is you shouldn't have to do all of this. Every expensive renewal gets a little harder to swallow when I can't get any support.

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Thanks again Jonny Quest. I grew up with that show. Great times.

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Nicely said!

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Yeah now the maps are all messed up as well. I was going to leave for the day and finish up any clean up tomorrow but hahahahaha.  If I could login to my customer portal I could get you the list of tickets but that's not working for me either.  So the ticket that messed up my migration is #1244452.  I also had a ticket opened yesterday about the SQL move #1243400 that took over 6 hours for someone to respond too. 

Don't complain about support too much. I did and lost my access to the Customer Portal yesterday.

I had to call in and have my userid deleted and re-added.

Just kidding, I'm sure it was just a coincidence......

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Hi Dave, we heard back from the support team and it sounds like you have a call with them today.

Please let us know if we can help with anything else. Thanks!

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Yeah. Can you fix support so I don't have to go to a public forum to get actual support?  Over the past 6 months out of the support tickets I have opened with SolarWinds I may have gotten decent support TWICE.  Otherwise it is a few weeks of hemming and hawing and get an answer in 2 weeks.