"All three companies provide two basic levels of support:
Standard and Priority. Standard is support during normal business
hours and defined as either 9x5 or 12x5 support, depending on the
vendor. A priority-level subscription buys you 24x7 support and
one-hour turnaround on priority-one incidents. All subscription
models include unlimited incidents. Prices vary widely between
vendors, but all are on a per-machine basis.
"The idea of fixed yearly support costs is an appealing one.
Knowing exactly what your desktop and server support costs will be
for the coming year makes it much simpler to create a budget.
Purchase a three-year subscription and enjoy a 10 percent discount
on the price. Imagine accurately planning a three-year budget --
that's the stuff of bean-counters' dreams!
"You know you've spent your support dollars wisely when you hear
a calm voice on the other end of your frantic support call say,
"Thank you for calling (Vendor) support, I'm here to help." There's
nothing quite like personalized support -- you'll experience no
fumbles, no stumbles and no million questions about which operating
system you have, which kernel you're running or why you picked this
distribution over another. Your information pops up on the support
person's screen and your incident enters the queue."