Technical Support Escalation and Priority Definitions

Last Updated: October 16, 2019

Problem Escalation Policy

NetApp has an established a standard methodology for case management.  Cases can be initiated automatically by our systems installed at customer sites via our ActiveIQ/AutoSupport technology, or can be generated by our customers, third parties or other NetApp employees using various methods as outlined in the Support Owners Manual. All cases are assigned case owners who are typically based in our Technical Support Center (TSC).


Cases are also assigned priorities to establish an overall response time and the resolution process for the case.  NetApp uses the following guidelines for establishing case priorities.  However, the customer can request an increase in priority at any time.


If at any time you wish to have your case escalated, please call the TSC Hotline number (listed at the end of this document) and ask to speak to the duty manager.


Case Priority and Handling

Priority 1 (P1)

NetApp node, software application, system or cluster is down, unable to serve data, is in a state of frequent or repeating “Panic” or “Hang” or is in a state of degraded performance sufficient to prevent normal business operations.  At this Priority, both NetApp and Customer must commit to around-the-clock action and involvement by all necessary and appropriate personnel and systems until a mutually agreeable workaround is provided and normal business operations are restored. P1 cases will be worked upon receipt.

Priority 2 (P2)

NetApp node, software application, system, or cluster is experiencing an infrequent, isolated, or intermittent “Panic” or “Hang” or is in a state of degraded performance that allows business operations to continue but at an inconsistent or less than optimal rate. P2 issues will be evaluated for immediate work based on business impact. Issues with low impact will be worked during NetApp business hours in your region. If you have a high-impact issue, call the Technical Support Center and prepare to commit necessary personnel and system access until a mutually agreeable workaround is provided. Active customer engagement is required to work P2 issues outside of NetApp business hours in your region.*

Priority 3 (P3)

NetApp node, software application, system, or cluster is experiencing an issue, anomaly, or cosmetic defect that inflicts little or no business impact, and where a viable and mutually agreeable workaround or hardware/software upgrade exists to mitigate the problem. P3 cases will be worked during NetApp business hours in your region. *

Priority 4 (P4)

Normal requests for information regarding the installation, configuration, use and maintenance of your NetApp equipment and software applications.  This includes administrative inquiries and return material authorization (RMA) information on hardware.  There is no impact to your production systems or business operations. P4 cases will be worked during NetApp business hours in your region. *

* All hardware cases are evaluated for immediate work independent of priority. P3 and P4 software cases receive a response and are worked to resolution during NetApp regional business hours. Outside of NetApp regional business hours, the response objective may be delayed for P3 and P4 software cases. NetApp regional business hours are typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but can vary with local language requirements. See your local service representative for more details.

Priority 1 Notification Matrix

P1 Critical Outage Duration


15 minutes
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Duty Manager
1 hour
  • Technical Support Manager
2 hours
  • Technical Support Senior Manager
5 hours
  • NetApp Support Regional Director
  • NetApp Support Group Manager
  • Field Support Regional Director
  • Support Account Management Leadership

NOTE: When a case with a priority of 2 is raised to a Priority 1, the time triggers for a Priority 1 are activated.

Escalation Guidelines

Upon notification, a customer issue(s) is escalated to various levels of NetApp management in accordance with the notification guidelines in the table above. Our objective is to ensure that the most appropriate support resource(s) is/are utilized to correct the service effecting problem quickly. The NetApp Technical Support Center Manager, to which the incident is escalated, takes responsibility for problem resolution oversight and provides progress updates to the customer on a timely basis.


NetApp uses every reasonable method available aligned with the most appropriate skilled resources to expedite a resolution or stable work-around. It is important to recognize that this service level target requires shared responsibility from the customer to ensure success. As such, it is important to note that there are certain external factors that are not in the direct control of the NetApp Support Services personnel engaged. As a result, the ability to establish a resolution or effective work-around may be limited to one or more of the following factors:

  1. Availability and/or knowledge of systems, applications and technical resources at the customer site to adequately diagnose and troubleshoot the problem
  2. Understanding and accurately communicating technical details critical to the TSC in fully understanding the what/when/how of the situation
  3. Quick and uninterrupted remote access to on-site filers
  4. Willingness of the customer technical contact to fully engage and cooperate with NetApp's technical personnel in obtaining essential debugging data as requested

Global Support Center Contact Numbers

Where to open a Technical Support Case:

North America: (888) 4 NETAPP or (888) 463-8277
Europe: +800 44 638 277 or  +800 44 NETAPP
Asia: +800 800 80 800
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