support policy

Engine Yard Support Policy

Whatever it takes.

Engine Yard is a Platform-as-a-Service company. We help you optimize technology to host and scale your presence on the web. We know that your web applications need to be up and running for your customers to be successful.

We understand how important your web presence is to the success of your business. That’s why we perform constant system monitoring and have a support staff that’s dedicated to helping you be successful with Engine Yard.

This support policy is in place to help you, our customer, understand the types of support we offer, the methods available for you to receive support, and the hours during which different support methods are available. We also want to help you understand what escalation procedures exist, should an issue prove difficult to solve.

Our VNOC

Engine Yard uses enterprise-grade automated monitoring systems to track the operations of our infrastructure and platform across various dimensions to ensure maximum uptime and operability. These systems are all represented on dashboards in our Virtual Network Operations text-center (VNOC), which never sleeps. All alerts are sent to our VNOC Support Engineers, who take immediate action. Our Support Engineers are backed up by our entire team of Development Engineers when problems need to be escalated. This process is outlined later in this document.

Continuous Improvement

Each issue is documented in our ticketing system. You, our customer, will have access to all of your historical tickets (and thus all documentation of issues). If an issue requires escalation to Engineering, it is tracked in our software development tracking system.

Upon resolution of a ticket, you have the option to answer a short two-question survey to indicate your level of satisfaction with any aspects of the issue. These responses are monitored continuously and are made public on our website. All unsatisfactory responses and their associated cases are reviewed weekly by a special cross-functional team.

This team includes a cross-section of representatives from our Support, Engineering and Management teams and conducts the weekly review sessions to improve the level of customer satisfaction we can provide. Additionally, this group identifies processes and operations that can be further improved to meet your expectations.

Who is Available to Help

Customer Support Engineers

Engine Yard provides a single globally-distributed Support team staffed by engineers with various specialities and skills including system administration, database administration, programming, and developer operations. Incoming ticket requests are triaged to the appropriate specialists for resolution.

Engine Yard Customer Support may be contacted via any of the following means, in order of responsiveness:

  • Ticketing system within the Engine Yard Developer text-center:
    • https://support.cloud.engineyard.com
  • IRC
    • channel #engineyard on the Freenode network
      • irc.freenode.net
  • Telephone
    • 1-866-518-9275 (US toll-free)
    • +1-415-624-8380 (outside US)

Customer Support Leaders

As a point of escalation, each shift is led by a Team Lead or Support Manager. Issues may be further escalated to the Director of Technical Support, and onto the Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering.

You may request immediate escalation for any issue which you feel is not being handled appropriately for your needs. The Support Management team regularly reviews all unsatisfactory tickets on a weekly basis during a weekly review meeting, as outlined earlier (see “Continuous Improvement” above).

Product Managers

Feature requests for our platform may be made within the appropriate forums in the Engine Yard Developer text-center. This is a good way to engage in an exchange of dialog with our Product Management team and, more importantly, the Engine Yard user community.

Our entire Product Management team regularly curates the forums and responds to feature requests. When requested features are added to the development work plan, a Product Manager will respond in the related forums thread to provide updates and set expectations.

As a feature requester, you will be invited to test the feature during its Early Access release, to ensure that it meets your needs and expectations, prior to its General Availability release to all our customers.

Development Engineers

Issues may occasionally need to be escalated to our Development Engineering team. Issues with the performance of our platform are automatically directly escalated via an internal engineering ticket. That internal ticket is linked in our system with your support ticket, which documents the issue you are facing. During the resolution of the internal ticket, a Support Engineer will make regular status updates on your ticket.

Feature requests are handled via our Product Management team, as indicated above. Premium Support and Managed Services customers may request individual time with the Product Management team via your Customer Success Manager.

Customer Success Managers

Available exclusively to our Premium Support and Managed Services customers only.

Customers who take advantage of our Premium Support or Managed Services will have an additional point of contact in the Customer Success team. The Customer Success team will keep you proactively informed on any and all issues which affect your web applications and uptime. For events which cause downtime, the Customer Success team may also provide you wutg root cause analyses to help you understand underlying issues and their mitigation strategies.

The Customer Success team may be contacted via the ticketing system or via phone escalation during Engine Yard’s regular business hours between 9am and 5pm in the US/Pacific time zone.

Business Hours

Engine Yard offers multiple Support tiers. Business hours vary per tier.

Support Tier Business Hours
Standard Support 12x5 in the timezone of your choosing
Premium Support 24x7
Managed Services 24x7

Service Priorities

Our team treats all of the services Engine Yard provides as mission-critical. Support tiers are prioritized from highest to lowest as follows:

  • Managed Services with Dedicated Personnel
  • Managed Services
  • Premium Support
  • Standard Support

We have additionally identified several priorities, depending on how critical they are to your uptime. We rely on this framework to help set your expectations. You may request escalation for any issue that you feel we may have mis-prioritized.

Priority 1: Urgent

These issues affect the most foundational aspects of the Engine Yard service provided to you.

Urgent Priority indicates an issue that affects all your users, your data integrity may be at stake, and most or all of your web application system is unavailable.
  • Entire service is down;
  • A critical part of the service, data, or infrastructure is inaccessible to you or your users;
  • Your databases are corrupted;
  • Your filesystems are corrupted.

During a mass outage event, this response time will apply exclusively to Premium Support customers and Managed Services customers. Our response time to Standard Support customers will be contingent upon the nature and priority of the outage. Wider spread outages will likely result in longer response times.

Priority 2: High

These issues affect major functionality of your application. In High Priority issues, data integrity of the functional parts of your site is unaffected.

  • Your web application is operational but significantly degraded;
  • About half of your users cannot use some of your services;
  • You know of no workarounds.

Priority 3: Normal

Normal Priority issues can include technical questions, configuration issues, and defects that affect a small number of users. Typically acceptable workarounds exist.

  • Minor problems that don’t affect your application’s functionality
  • Missing or erroneous documentation
  • Advice and questions during the development and staging processes of your application’s development.

Priority 4: Low

Non-severe issues include questions, suggestions and feedback.

  • Suggestions on how we can improve any aspect of your Engine Yard experience;
  • Missing or erroneous documentation;
  • Feature request for a feature absent in our platform.
  • Please note that many of our customers prefer the community experience of the “Feature Requests” forums.

Response Times

Engine Yard Support operates in 3 global regions: The Americas; Europe, Africa and the Middle East; and Asia/Pacific. We are committed to rapidly responding to support issues. All issues are tracked on our ticketing system in the Developer text-center.

Engine Yard Support responds to Urgent issues 24 hours a day. Lower priority issues will be addressed during business hours, as indicated above under “Business Hours.”

While we offer no guarantees that we will meet or exceed the response times indicated below, Engine Yard Support makes commercially reasonable efforts to do so.

Support Service Level Targets

Priority Response Time
Urgent 30 minutes
High 4 business hours
Normal 1 business day
Low 3 business days

Support Ticket Lifecycle

Every single issue for which we are contacted is logged as a ticket.

Normal Lifecycle

  1. You report an issue via a ticket, phone, or IRC.
    • Regardless of method, a ticket will be filed.
  2. Depending on your support level and problem description, the ticket is triaged to the appropriate team to handle.
  3. Our target response time may not match your stated priority. If you disagree with our reasoning, please ensure that we understand the issue’s criticality so that we can better meet your expectations.
  4. If an engineer needs to ask you a question they will add a comment to your ticket, and set it into the Pending state, while they await your response.
  5. When you respond (via your web browser or via your email client), the ticket’s state will automatically get set to Open while you await a response from Engine Yard Support.
  6. If you do not respond again within three (3) business days we will send you a second reminder comment and reset the state to Pending.
  7. After five (5) business days we set the status to Solved, as the assumption will be that the issue is no longer valid or important.
    • You may still reopen the ticket by responding to it.
    • You may take this opportunity to rate your experience with Engine Yard. All feedback is reviewed weekly, as indicated above under “Continuous Improvement.”
  8. After thirty (30) days the ticket will be marked Closed. At this point, the ticket is archived and can be neither reopened nor rated. If the issue returns, you will need to file a new ticket.

Outage Lifecycle

We have identified three levels of outage, depending on its severity and how widespread it is. We follow a specific process for each outage type, as indicated:

  • Mass Outage: Significant parts of the infrastructure are down: entire sets of customers are experiencing compromised performance or downtime.
  • Limited Functionality Outage: A bug is preventing customers from deploying updates or provisioning new instances, but customers are not experiencing compromised performance or downtime as a result.
  • Emerging Issue: We have received reports from a small number of customers, usually about edge-case issues with compromised results.

In all cases, we report the issue in the Known Issues section of the Developer text-center. We continually update that Known Issue report until the issue has been resolved.

During an outage our target response times, as listed above under “Response Times,” may be compromised: we do our best to meet them.

Software Versions

Engine Yard’s product team maintains the official software stack for the Engine Yard platform. Most of the stack component software is maintained in the open source community. As such, we rely on the community to keep the software up to date as far as features and security