I recently asked a question regarding troubleshooting issues when adding an ESXi host to a vCenter server. However, this question was put on hold, and suggested to be posed on SuperUser (shown below).

Questions on Server Fault must be about managing information technology systems in a business environment. Home and end-user computing questions may be asked on Super User

It is my opinion that because of the enterprise hardware and software I am using, this question does apply to business environments and could prove beneficial to corporations that may face the same issue. I think this is a bit of a gray area, since the rules state a business environment, and not professional business use/employees only.

Insight on this would be greatly appreciated. If it is decided that this question is indeed off topic, I would suggest revising the rules to ensure questions of this sort make it to the right community.

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    What delineate a business environnement? gear in a business computer park used for business need. Its easy to spot labing question as they bring unusual problem you dont see in a business day to day. – yagmoth555 Mod Mar 26 '17 at 11:32
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    ServerFault is meant for professionals to engage with their peers. It's not that we don't want people to learn - it's just not the platform for it. – Dan Mar 27 '17 at 17:06
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    Part of working in a professional environment is knowing when to stop trying to fix things on your own and start calling the vendor support. Unfortunately, your using a student license precludes this. That is part of the reason to not allow your question. – Jenny D Mar 27 '17 at 17:44
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    @JennyD (Dan and yagmoth555 too) I appreciate your honest feedback on the topic instead of attacking me personally like the other self absorbed "professionals" on this community. – SuperAdmin Mar 27 '17 at 17:51
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    There is a rather limited enthusiasm for people coming in new to the community and suggesting that the rules should be revised to fit their questions. Also, if you wish to complain about personal attacks, it's generally recommended to avoid making such, at least within the same comment. – Jenny D Mar 29 '17 at 8:42
  • @JennyD I think my title adequately displays to the community that it's not about "why did I get put in hold?" Also, I didn't suggest revising the rules to include my question, I suggested revising the rules to clearly exclude my question, as to avoid future confusion. As far as personal attacks, I won't start it but I also don't take it well. – SuperAdmin Mar 29 '17 at 11:39
  • I definitely read your suggestion of revision as implying that you wish the rules to change, not to be clarified. Given the strong reaction by other commenters, I wasn't the only one. – Jenny D Mar 29 '17 at 12:22
  • @JennyD I didn't even think of it that way. I revised my question accordingly. – SuperAdmin Mar 29 '17 at 12:29
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    @SuperAdmin thanks for the clarification! I think this misunderstanding is the source of the conflict below. Good luck with both your studies and your hobby projects! – Jenny D Mar 29 '17 at 12:39
  • Try Proxmox instead of vmWare :) – Anubioz Mar 30 '17 at 3:32

I have had a few questions here put on hold also. What I've gathered from my complaining, and the corresponding snarky comments from people, has been that unlike every other stack exchange site (that I regularly use), this site isn't about what you're using, but how you're using it. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just that that's how I see it.

For example, on stack overflow, if I have a question about coding, it doesn't matter if I'm a web developer, full stack, machine language nut, professional amateur or anything student...if it's a coding question it belongs.

On ServerFault, if you ask a question about...let's say, vSphere, and you say you're learning vSphere as a student, it is off topic. If you rewrote the question, and said you're doing the exact same thing, but instead you are a professional in a business, it is on topic. This isn't specific to your question specifically, since there are a few reasons that it probably should have been closed according to others.

When this first started happening to me, I got pretty upset, as it seemed like the entire community was trying to troll me, and making silly arguments about why it didn't belong instead of either trying to help, or admitting to themselves that they didn't know how to answer the question.

After I calmed down a bit, and read the serverfault.com/tour page I noticed it says "Server Fault is a question and answer site for managing information technology systems in a business environment." As has already been said, and makes sense, your question wasn't in an actual business environment. The angry me would say, "why does it matter, if I can change the word student, to professional and then get useful answers". The answer there, I believe is that stack exchange is so massive that each sub site HAS to be incredibly focused, so that another site isn't invalid.

For better or worse, that seems to be the pattern for me. So, from now on, do yourself a favor, and just set up a pretend scenario, where you're in a business environment.....or post it on SuperUser.

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    Even with a scenario, its still unprofessional to recommand NFR licence for business use, as its not legal. (legal for labbing, but we fall offtopic for another reason). In all case the op cant easily get an answer, as who can tell us its not the licence type that block. vmware forum is more suited there for that reason in that case. – yagmoth555 Mod Mar 29 '17 at 22:54
  • @yagmoth555 I agree with you 100%. But his question wasn't necessarily why was his question off topic, but why it wasn't considered business environment. – trueCamelType Mar 29 '17 at 22:55
  • i agree, iam french, i maybe wrote it badly, but I mean, do you use NFR licence or unit in any of your business customer for production use ? – yagmoth555 Mod Mar 29 '17 at 23:06
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    No, I think that's an excellent reason for it to be closed. – trueCamelType Mar 29 '17 at 23:07
  • I have had this exact setup before, with the same licenses. The issue is a network error. – SuperAdmin Mar 29 '17 at 23:09
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    I definitely don't want to troubleshoot the issue here :) I just wanted to give my opinion on what they meant by business environment. I believe him that it's a network error, and I love everyone. – trueCamelType Mar 29 '17 at 23:10
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    Regarding the split-up of sites: If you compare stackoverflow with any of the smaller sites, you'l notice that the difference is massive (for example, 412 featured questions on SO, 6 on SF, 5 on U&L, 12 on SU). This means that if you would throw all the sub sites into a bowl, you would still have a tiny portion of the main side. Further segregating topics like it is done here sometimes, will do nothing to help focusing, because the sites are much too small to even need that (and tags are site-specific/duplicated, as is the search). – user121391 Mar 31 '17 at 11:30
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    Am I the only one that thinks "why does it matter, if I can change the word student, to professional and then get useful answers" is a fairly accurate description of an incredibly arbitrary and unhelpful policy stance? This puts you all in the incredibly tenuous position of killing questions because the OPs gave too much info. vSphere is professional software. Always has, always will be. Any policy ignoring that simple fact is absurd. – Mikey T.K. Apr 1 '17 at 3:28
  • @MikeyT.K. You miss the point, it got killed because of the licence, but he refused to give detail about the networking info, and the OP state there on meta that its a networking problem. And if its a networking problem, does the OP can login to those switch ? or its gear in his university managed by someone else ? Its the same policy than on math, as they close on sight homework, even if its mathematic in the end – yagmoth555 Mod Apr 1 '17 at 12:12
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    @MikeyT.K. As I said below, if a non-professional can write a well-researched, reasonably-scoped question about systems they have full control over, then they'll likely be left open here. The problem is that there are very few non-professionals that even have the ability to write a good question about this sort of thing. They try, but fail to understand even the most basic of concepts and/or fail to be able to explain things clearly, even when asked for specific clarification. Thus, their question gets closed. – EEAA Apr 2 '17 at 12:53
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    @MikeyT.K. This exact thing happened with the OP's question. This person thought it was necessary, for "security" reasons, to censor their RFC1918 addresses. This of course makes it impossible to understand network topology. Even after noting this to the OP and recommending that they un-censor their IPs and also provide subnet masks, they failed to do that. I was trying to help, but the OP thought (incorrectly) that providing the additional information was not necessary. So, the question stayed closed for this and other reasons. – EEAA Apr 2 '17 at 12:58
  • Then we should have a faq question defining in a business environment. – Martin Schröder Apr 7 '17 at 10:48
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    @MartinSchröder we have tried. We have tried to clarify the site rules (in fact, they used to be clearer, and fuzzier ones were forced on us). Look back in meta and watch it happen. The owners of this site seem unwilling to allow us professional admins to clarify that we are only interested in professional-quality questions, but we're the ones answering most of the questions, so they can't do without us either. An uneasy peace generally holds, but I freely concede that it doesn't help the newcomer to the site really understand what's going on. – MadHatter Apr 9 '17 at 6:54

You are a student, using licenses given you by your school, presumably setting up a lab for your school work. Getting all of this to work is part of your homework. Additionally, because of your licensing situation, you do not have access to vendor support, which should be your first port of call in situations like these.

Seems like a pretty cut-and-dry off-topic vote if you ask me.

Aside from the above, you have not provided nearly enough details about your networking situation to be helpful, nor have you performed even rudimentary troubleshooting steps (packet captures come to mind) to determine what's going on.

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    I appreciate your comments but this is actually entirely on my own, other than an educational license this has nothing to do with schooling. I don't know everything about networking but I would think that a community such as this would value educating it's members. I can update my post based on comments. That's why were here right? We need other people's guidance? Regardless, I'm more curious about guideline quoted above as stated by the title of this post. – SuperAdmin Mar 26 '17 at 6:06
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    I'm afraid that the sense of entitlement you display sickens me. You haven't helped this community at all. 3 votes, 0 edits, 0 flags 0 answers, 4 questions pfft! You are nothing more than a help vampire. For me you (ab)use of educational licences immediately puts you out of the business environment. 'SuperAdmin' - double pfft. – user9517 Mar 26 '17 at 11:34
  • @SuperAdminI looked on your SO profile - your contributions there are less than stellar too. I'm sticking with my opinion of you. – user9517 Mar 27 '17 at 17:20
  • @Thetimehascome 90% of that is high school. Now that I actually can apply things I've learned I've started helping Network Engineering, and Security. I figured there's no point in deleting old posts. – SuperAdmin Mar 27 '17 at 17:22
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    @Thetimehascome Where do you see entitlement? I only see valid questions, both here on meta and on the linked original question. I think it would be fairer (and better for increasing quality posts) to judge actual questions, instead of judging people based on their imaginary internet points - especially if they are learning and trying to better themselves and others. – user121391 Mar 28 '17 at 11:46
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    @Thetimehascome Everybody has to learn about their subject somehow. I've been on SE for a few years and have very few contributions, because in most situations others beat me to it or I can't answer the question. But I help where I can. So am I "entitled" just because I'm limited in my capacity to help? – Dessa Simpson Mar 30 '17 at 0:32
  • @DuncanXSimpson google.co.uk/search?q=entitlemen – user9517 Mar 30 '17 at 4:44
  • 1. the fact of having a right to something. Seems to not be what we're looking for. 2. the amount to which a person has a right. Still not right. 3. the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. This must be what you're talking about, but I don't see how either of us believe we deserve extra privileges or special treatment. – Dessa Simpson Mar 30 '17 at 4:48
  • @DuncanXSimpson Why do you think my comment was directed at you? It was quite specifically aimed at one person who is not you. Unless of course you think you fit into the class of 'help vampire'. – user9517 Mar 30 '17 at 5:54
  • I'm saying that I fit into a similar situation as him, but I don't think either of us to be help vampires. – Dessa Simpson Mar 30 '17 at 13:31
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    OK folks, look at trueCamelType's answer above. He calls out the chief difference between SF and its sister sites. SF is by professional admins, for professional admins. Now, if someone comes along and asks a well-researched, well-articulated, reasonably-scoped question and they're not a professional, the question will usually stick around. In the OP's case, though, the question had several strikes against it, one of which was that it was not a professional environment. The others are 1) Mis-use of VMware licenses and 2) Lack of thorough troubleshooting into the problem. – EEAA Mar 30 '17 at 13:38
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    @SuperAdmin So you have a question from a lab setup, hobbyist environment, no vendor support. That question lines up with superuser stack. I know I read both stacks. (And unix/Linux and stack overflow too). The proper answer to your question in server fault environment is, "Punt, call vendor support." That's why you have it. In superuser, you'll find a lot of like-minded people, some of whom may have worked through what you're working on. – Xalorous Mar 31 '17 at 0:44

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