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Audience: System Admins
Last Updated: 4/13/2011 6:22:45 PM
**All times are EST**

Juniper JTAC Sucks

By Erik Rodriguez

Tags: JTAC ScreenOS, Juniper JCARE, juniper technical support, netscreen support sucks

This article contains information about the poor support services offered by Juniper relating to the Netscreen/SSG line.


Most corporate accounts purchase warranty/support services from Cisco (Smartnet) and Juniper (Jtac). That being said, if I am going to pay for something, I might as well use it. The following sections explain my frustration and lack of service provided by Juniper.

Opening a JTAC Case

You can open a JTAC case via their online ticketing system or calling in. I chose to use the first method because most of my requests were simply general questions about my configuration and/or plan of deployment. You can choose your desired level of urgency which by default is medium. A ticket is created, and within 1 business day the case assigned to someone and are usually contacted.

JTAC Support Personnel

Here is where things start to get annoying. Every tech assigned to a case is Indian. The support department runs out of India, and because of that, the conflicting time zones make it hard to communicate over the phone. I could live with that, but once I started talking to them, I couldn't understand I word out of their mouth. I requested the case be transferred to someone else (thinking I just got the wrong guy) but every tech afterwards was just as bad. I did some reading on forums and spoke to other people about my experience. Most said for some reason the department working on the Netscreen/SSG support were based in India. Other departments working with routers and switches were US-based.

Level of Support

After opening 5 tickets with JTAC for configuration questions or general config blessings, I gave up. Each time I worked with a support rep from JTAC I realized I knew more than they did. I requested help with creating a deep inspection signature for a brute-force FTP attack. I did not have the DI licensed, but wanted to create a custom rule to accomplish the same thing. WRONG! I was sent a link to the [outdated] PDF for ScreenOS. I had already seen that document years before, and had it helped, I wouldn't have opened a case. I replied saying that did not help. JTAC responded saying "we do not help with custom DI rules." On one hand, I see how they don't want to be responsible for something that could turn into a huge security problem if mis-configured. On the other hand, if you can't get help directly from the vendor, who can you get help from? My request should have been very easy for a support rep, as I just needed to know the proper format for generating a regular expression for ScreenOS.


Overall, I was disappointed with both the quality and effectiveness provided by JTAC. I told the manager who contacted me about the case that I was less than impressed and would not be renewing my JTAC subscription. Alternatively, if you are contacting Cisco about their ASA line during normal business hours you will get a US-based support rep. Props to Cisco.

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