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Most system administrators know that every change bears the risk of failure, even if that risk is very small. When things go south, stress levels usually increase rapidly. The longer the wait for  a solution, the greater the stress level, which can make it difficult to keep a clear view of the issue at hand.

Support cases opened in the heat of a high severity issue are often missing information vital for support teams to understand the nature of an issue and provide a quick, effective solution. Time spent gathering information delays the process of solving the issue. Proactive support cases can reduce time spent gathering information when time is critical by providing important information ahead of time.

What is a proactive support case?

Proactive support cases provide advance notice to Red Hat Support of planned upgrades, migrations, or patching schedules for our strategic and premium support customers. While these events  typically happen outside regular business hours, they can happen at any time. Advance notice helps us ensure the right information is available to prepare support delivery should the customer encounter an issue.

Our goals include:

  • Assisting our customers by getting the initial case logistics out of the way ahead of the event
  • Increasing responsiveness by ensuring we have the right resources available should the customer encounter a problem during their event
  • Providing advance notice to Managers on Duty (MoD) so they are aware of all proactive cases for a given weekend.

How to submit a Proactive Case provides all the information necessary to open a proactive case.

Work with your TAM or SA to plan ahead

If you have a Technical Account Manager (TAM) or Solution Architect (SA) assigned to your account, you have the benefit of engaging them when planning a proactive case.

Your TAM or SA will assist you in providing the required information:

  • Case Title: Prefix with "[Proactive]" and summarize the change.
  • Severity: Open the case on a Severity level of 3. When the activity begins, Red Hat engineers will raise the Severity to 1 by so proper resources are allocated if an issue arises.
  • Case Description: Describe as many details as possible; for example:
    • Type of activity planned
    • Current and target version of the upgrade, patches being applied, etc.
    • Environment, infrastructure, and any third-party software that was integrated
    • System(s) involved in the activity
    • Applications, services, and any other components that may be affected or upgraded during the activity
  • Date/Time of Event: State the planned start and end date and time of the maintenance window, including timezone (preferably referencing the offset from UTC).
  • Contact Information: Provide the primary and secondary contact names, email addresses, and phone numbers with country and region code. This is especially important if the person who opened the case is not the person doing the maintenance activity.
  • Data Attachments: Upload the relevant data from the systems affected by the activity.

Once the event is complete, your TAM or SA will work with you and the Support Delivery associate who handled the case to determine the current state of the event and next steps if needed.


Proactive cases help to save valuable time when an issue occurs by:

  • Gathering important information ahead of the event
  • Providing data serving as checkmark of a configuration that’s known to work
  • Ensuring necessary and appropriate resources are available

Refer to the following article for detailed information: How to submit a Proactive Case.

Reach out to your TAM or SA to plan your next upgrade or migration event. Don't miss the valuable opportunity provided by proactive cases, a service included in your premium subscription.

About the author

Joerg joined Red Hat in March 2023. In his previous career he served as a sysadmin. His fields of expertise include Virtualization, Linux System Administration and Automation, Firewall, and Load balancing.

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