Thursday, June 12, 2008

What is the longest time you had a Cisco SR open?

Yesterday i was having a review of all our Cisco cases (open and closed) and i felt disappointed.

I realized that there is one platform that has the most cases (should i say above 70?) during the last 4 years and some of them have lasted for over a year!

What does it mean for me?

  • The platform has a difficult (and probably not optimal) architecture
  • The platform doesn't have enough engineers to deal with its software
  • I'm doing a thorough check of everything on this platform (shouldn't I?)

Regarding the time it takes Cisco to solve many of our cases, here are some possible reasons:

  • The tac engineer cannot handle/understand the case (so it gets escalated or moved to another engineer)
  • The Developer Team needs to be contacted
  • A lab reproduction needs to be done
  • The case is not considered critical
  • The case cannot be replicated easily
  • I insist on leaving cases open until the fix gets execute committed in a specific release (past experience made me act this way)
  • My company hasn't bought many pieces of this platform (so it's not getting the appropriate attention)

On the other hand, there are some platforms that get immediate attention and Cisco is willing to create a custom engineering image for you, if you're in urgent need.

So, what is the longest time you had a Cisco SR open? Please take some time and vote in the poll to the right.

Also something else that i'm interested in:

1. Have you ever issued a PER (Product Enhancement Request)? If yes, was it actually done and how much time did it took? Did you use any informal way?

2. Cisco says that CCIEs get a better service from Cisco TAC in their cases. Have you seen that?

Update 1 Aug 2008: I have attached the results from the poll. Although the sample is very small, as it seems Cisco is actually slow when solving some of its cases. I guess it has to do with the usual business impact. If you are DT or BT, you're not probably going to wait so much.


  1. Regarding your last point with the improved TAC-support when opened via a CCIE's account - that's definitely true. My experience shows that the "normal" engineers are typically able to cite from the configuration-guides, may help you typical configuration-errors, or may find hardware-errors which are fixed by swapping the box. As soon as it gets more complicated, the case typically has to be escalated to another engineer. If you open the case with a CCIE's account the quality improves drastically, which is why I opened critical cases until recently with a collegues' account. Until recently, because now I'm a CCIE of my own! :)

    What's also interesting to my mind is the difference of support-quality between time-zones. I like the Brussels' TAC the most. They are more dedicated to the problem than the US-engineers, I have made this experience a lot of times. Is this the same with you? US-engineers are not shy to phone you without even reading and investigating the problem given in the description before that. They don't try so hard to fix the problem, and the case-handling typically takes just longer. But nothing compared to the TAC in india, where I had some real crappy engineers (but I had only a handful of cases there, might be bad luck). Don't get me wrong - I still think Cisco's TAC is one of the best if not the best support-system on the market (compared to other vendors). But it helps knowing how to "handle" the TAC (e.g. like your habit of keeping the case open until the fix arrives, which I also often do).


  2. From my standpoint, Brussel's TAC usually gives more attention to you and has more time to work on your cases.
    Regarding the duration of the SR,
    I already had a Cisco SR opened for more than one year.
    This is feasible if your issue is too much hard to reproduce.

  3. @airflow,

    i have the same experience with Brussels tac. But i don't know if there is an easy way to have always an engineer from that timezone, besides the obvious one of requeueing the case after you have opened it.

    Until now i haven't used my CCIE account for opening SRs, but after what you said i'll probably give it a try.

    Generally i have met very few engineers that do not start with "send us a sh tech", although the detailed description i usually provide is more than enough to make the engineer understand that it's a new bug and a developer should probably be involved.


    During the first half of 2008 we had 5 cases that had started in 2007 and one of them will probably continue to 2009!

  4. @tassos,

    there is an easy way to influence what TAC-center you get. Just don't open an TAC-case on the later afternoon (given that you are in CET). I always open them between 9 and 14 o'clock. I don't know the exact time when they reroute the calls, but if you open the SR before 14 you should be on the safe side. When I run into an issue in the afternoon and I can wait until the next day, I tend to just prepare the case and all information and open it the next day.


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