TAC cases how long do you wait to open them up?

shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
I currently work with quite a few CCIE's and they dont' hesitate to open a TAC case. They all have multiple projects they are working on and if they cant solve a problem. They open a TAC case move onto another part of the project or another project all together while they wait and keep getting work done. Others have looked upon this as not knowing your stuff, but I see there high efficiency in this method and the customers are usually happy that the work is done up to standards. So over the past 4 months I give a task about a project 90 min and I open a case if i cant' solve it and move on. I've noticed that I get way more work done(which is the goal). I know the questions to ask when I deal with TAC now and I've actually learned more about what I'm working on as I can read the debugs and traces and show them whats not working as expected is this a bug or something still configured incorrectly. Whats your take on it?
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Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Depends on what it is really. If I know the configuration is correct and it should work but it's not I open a case immediately. Or if it's hardware related I open a case immediately. If it's something I'm not sure if it's configured right I'll do some due diligence to ensure it's not something stupid first.

    Either way I continue to look at it myself if I have the time whether a case is open or not. If you have a high level contract with Cisco (or other big vendors) you are paying a lot of money for it so you might as well make them earn it.

    I don't think opening a TAC case says you don't know your stuff. Unless of course you are opening a bunch of configuration assistance cases. Most of those could be solved in half the time with a google search anyway.
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  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    This applies to any time of vendor support. The idea of figuring out absolutely everything you can on your own just doesn't work most of the time. If calling support gets it solved in a more cost-effective manner, do it.

    The other side, as you pointed out, is that you can actually learn more by calling support, in many cases. I'm not afraid to admit I know a lot of what I know about Exchange from calling Microsoft. While there's a certain satisfaction in figuring things out yourself and definitely knowledge learned, sometimes getting help is better.

    What I would say about those CCIEs is that opening a case almost immediately shows they do know their stuff, because it demonstrates they have mastery such that they can quickly determine whether further troubleshooting on their own or a TAC case is the more cost-effective approach.
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  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    It depends on the urgency of the issue. I don't do operations anymore, but when I did if it was a major outage (ie: everything is broke) I'd discuss the timeframe to open a TAC case with the site lead..for example, I'd say "we're going to check it out and if we have nothing in an hour we'll open a TAC case."

    I know opening a TAC case "just in case" might make sense, but I can't personally justify opening it up and having someone else work when I haven't exhausted all of my troubleshooting efforts yet.

    But, since I left operations I haven't had to deal with TAC once, so life is good.
  • pertpert Posts: 250Member
    I always open a TAC case immediately for all hardware and crash related issues. For other issues its pretty unusual, definitely googling first and digging in.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    That's a good rule to follow pert.
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Posts: 594Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    This is something I need to work on. I think I'm prideful and like to think that I can figure it out on my own. It's because of this I end up working on something for a long time before creating a ticket. Both my current boss and previous boss have been encouraging to open up a ticket but there's just something about figuring it out by myself that gives me satisfaction. However; if you don't have the time to fiddle around with something that should be working but isn't, I can see the method to the madness.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,116Mod Mod
    I open a TAC case pretty quickly if it's an immediate outage issue and the four engineers in this office can't figure it out in 5-10 minutes. It takes 5-10 minutes to get a Cisco TAC engineer on the line so if I figure it out while on hold, great. If not, then it doesn't hurt to have an extra pair of eyes looking at the problem. I always make sure to record how they discovered the root cause and how they fixed it so in the future, I can determine the problem on my own.
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  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    I know opening a TAC case "just in case" might make sense, but I can't personally justify opening it up and having someone else work when I haven't exhausted all of my troubleshooting efforts yet.

    The millions we pay them a year justifies imeadiate attention. When you have HTT they have people dedicated to work your issues so you might as well use them.
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    But, since I left operations I haven't had to deal with TAC once, so life is good.

    It is nice but sometimes I miss putting out the fires. I definitely don't miss the calls in the middle of the night though!
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  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    In many companies i have worked for, opening a TAC case immediately was standard depending on the severity. It was more of a political thing and the fact we pay these guys thousands for that privilege.
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  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    networker050184 your a HTT client? Big bucks
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  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    The millions we pay them a year justifies imeadiate attention. When you have HTT they have people dedicated to work your issues so you might as well use them.

    I absolutely agree with you, I've just not been able to open one immediately, I guess I feel like I'm giving up. I know that may be the wrong mentality, but I'm weird like that.

    I will say when I worked for a service provider we were very quick to call TAC, but that's because our SLA's were extremely rigid, and a 30 minute outage can easily cost the company thousands, so that's understandable.

    With regards to operations, I was the lead for a while in that setting, and it was immensely stressful for me. To top that off, I really didn't get much technical sastisfaction (other than the occasional troubleshooting an outage). I will say I really miss the people in operations settings (since you're there long enough to actually bond). I guess it's one of those "give" and "take" things.
  • PCHoldmannPCHoldmann Posts: 450Member
    Depends on the issue. Anything that looks like it is a hardware/software issue is going to be a case pretty quick, configuration issues are probably going to be googled and bounced off peers first.
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  • Architect192Architect192 Posts: 157Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Business comes first before personal pride. If a problem occurs and I KNOW what the issue is and how to fix, I go ahead and do it. If not, after 5 mins of searching nothing is found, I open a call to support according to severity. If I have to wait for a call return, I troubleshoot while waiting and sometimes they call back and I tell them I resolved it (or I close it proactively), sometimes they jump in and help me figure it out. I learned a lot from NetApp support helping me troubleshoot this way and from Cisco with ASAs.
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  • instant000instant000 Posts: 1,745Member
    I'm all in favor of opening the ticket sooner, rather than later.

    The worst case is that you close the ticket before they get back to you. If you're familiar with your network, you know what the normal functions of the equipment are. As such, no big deal to open the ticket right away.

    Also, please consider that if you're opening a ticket in the first place, it's more than likely a hardware issue (or an undocumented feature/bug). Configuration issues are usually resolved by restoring an old config.
    If you can’t figure out what’s wrong, escalate to someone else. ... I’ve been in environments where we had standing orders to open a TAC case the moment the problem was discovered, regardless of whether or not we thought we could fix it. If we could fix it, we just cancelled the call. If we could not, we were already well on our way to getting the right person on the phone.

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