In the Small Business Server world.. let's face it.... we're cheap. Okay I'll admit it. Even though I've gotten the credit card out myself and paid for the $245 PSS support call, the first time I did it, it was like $245? For a phone call? But trust me... it's not just a phone call.
First off, there's a living breathing human being on the other end of that call. You call into PSS and say that you are a SBSer and you'll get routed to what I affectionately refer to as “Mothership Charlotte and Los Colinas”. I've been amazed sometimes when I call in at 5 or 6 p.m Pacific time that I'll get someone in Charlotte, North Carolina on the phone on the late shift [to their 1 a.m]. With that phone call I'll get someone who practically lives and breathes SBS, who has several VMware SBS machines at their desktops, and think about it.... while other support folks only worry about one platform, just like you, they are supporting practically the entire “fleet” of server products.
They will then have the ability to remote into your system either using a Terminal Server [remote desktop] connection or Placeware sharing desktop connection.... or as I call it “You want to drive?” method.
When I say they “look out for us“, they truly do. I still remember the story of one Microsoft Engineer who was the Supervisor on deck when all of a sudden about 4 phone calls came in with SBS 4.5 boxes having issues. As he was helping the Engineers on the phones diagnose the problems [RRAS not firing up], he noticed all of the boxes had recently done one thing, patched with Security bulletin 03-029. That patch was causing the issue. And because all the calls came into the one location, he was quickly able to see the pattern, diagnose the problem and kick it up the ladder for resolution.
That brings up another topic... those calls... would be free calls. Why? Because the issue was caused by a security patch. Remember, calls for hotfixes are free [rattle off the KB number, free call], calls with issues caused by security patch or viruses, free. Don't forget that.
Our next line of support options is to do a $99 email method. Go online, put in your credit card and type up your question and get a support representative to send you a very detailed email back. Be very detailed in your original email for the best results.
Last and certainly not least, you also have the newsgroups. The Small Business Server Newsgroup is the “first line“ if you will. Sign in and register as a SBS owner and you'll probably get a response from a MS Engineer within 48 to 72 hours. You'll probably, however, get an answer long before then from a SBS community member. The “BTDT“ crowd... “been there, done that“ folks.
Well I guess I should really say, very last and very not least is “Google groups” and “Google”. Put in the EXACT error that you are getting and search in both google and google groups and you would be amazed and the number of resolutions you can find.
So I hope this has helped to let you know about all the options you have for help and support.....