How long does the development take?

The driver development usually takes around three (3) weeks per driver once development starts, and then an additional two (2) weeks for testing and documentation of the device capabilities. This is done in conjunction with other driver development.

What is the DSr release cycle?

The release cycle of the DSr is quarterly - at the end of each calendar quarter. There are four (4) DSr releases per year.

How can I tell if a driver is supported already?

Please review the latest NCM Device Support (DSr) matrix documentation on Supportzone. Each release will have accompanied release notes and driver details.

How do I know when a DSr update is released?

You can subscribe to new DSr updates / posting on PowerLink. By doing this, you will automatically receive a notification when a new DSr is posted.

Can I write my own drivers?

Yes. This is part of the self-certification process. Network Configuration Manager 4.1.0 and 4.1.1 have a Quick Driver Tool (QADD) that is part of the release that allows customers to create their own device drivers through a wizard-based UI. In Network Configuration Manager 4.1.x, these drivers are read-only (RO), but the updated Network Configuration Manager 9.6.1 release, the Device Driver Toolkit (quick driver tool replacement) will allow customers, field, and partners to create read-write (RW) drivers.

Should the customer provide equipment for development and testing?

Generally the customer supplies the equipment or access to the equipment through VPN or direct Internet access.

How long must the device be available?

The device must be accessible during the entire development cycle in order to complete development, Quality Assurance, and SVT testing. This time period will be made clear prior to starting development.

How are customer issues resolved after delivery?

The DSr release is applied as a Patch to the existing installation and support is handled through normal customer support channels.

Can I get the driver before it is released as a beta or pre-release?

As a general rule, no - the device drivers developed by VMware will be published in the updated DSr are the end of the quarter.

Why does this have to go through the Enhancement Request system?

Both customer requests and field requests are being evaluated. The Enhancement Request system is the only tool to that is both customer facing and internally accessible. The Enhancement Requests entered by customers will be evaluated along side field support entered requests.

At what point do the drivers get documented in the official DSr document?

When the drivers are released on Powerlink an associated revision of the document with release notes will be posted.

What exact information about device (vendor, model, SW version, OS, etc.) do you need to know about the device?

Vendor, Model, Operating System Version(s), Firmware/BIOS/Boot loader version(s)

What exact mandatory requirements for VPN connection?

VMware requires need unrestricted access to the equipment. A software based VPN that allows us unrestricted bi-directional access to the protocols required to do configuration and change monitoring.

What are the optional requirements for VPN connection?

It is preferable to use no VPN and have the device on the public switched internet. If possible, the IP addresses for restricting access to public firewalls and so on can be provided. If that is not a possibility a client based VPN is desirable to the lab environment. This client can be Linux or Windows.

What exact documentation (installation guides, configuration guides, manuals, etc.) are needed for creating a driver?

The CLI guide, Administration Guide, and/or Configuration Guide are needed. If not available, the best is a subject matter expert’s (SME) guidance. The general requirements would be the methods to backup, restore, configure, change passwords, change community strings, perform any other maintenance or activation tasks. This information is published by the vendor, but is generally a protected download that VMware may not have access to, hence it is necessary that these documents be provided to for the driver development.

Can I get the driver quicker or for a different release than the most current?

Yes - there are self-certification options, and / or professional service options to get the driver developed if it is required sooner that what the Device Services team can develop.