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The Myth of Network Acquisition Cost

Did you know that when building an enterprise IT network about 20% of a typical budget is spent acquiring hardware, while a whopping 80% goes toward operating costs?

In this week’s installation of the Myths of the Good-Enough Network series, Mike Rau delves into one of the common mistakes customers make when building an enterprise IT network; simply focusing on acquisition costs.  Mike points out that only looking at acquisition and maintenance costs ignores the increased productivity and the reduction in downtime that next-generation networks can provide. You may have initially saved by choosing the “good-enough” network; however those savings can quickly evaporate with an increase in operating costs.

When purchasing a phone you wouldn’t only consider the out-the-door cost, you would take into account the carrier’s network, services, and technical support when making your decision. Why not do the same with your enterprise IT network?

Sound logical?  Head over to Silicon Angle to read the full article and find out why a tactical “good enough” network can quickly become the more expensive option.

And don’t miss the previous myths:

Seven Myths of the Good Enough Network
Myth #1: Single-Purpose Network
Myth #2: Security as a Bolt-on Myth
Myth #3: Basic QoS Myth
Myth #4: Just Look for Standards
Myth #5: Basic Warranty

Check back next week for our coverage of the final networking myth.

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Is Your Customers’ Network Covered by a “Good Enough” Warranty?

June 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm PST

When budgeting for equipment to run enterprise networks, buying equipment that requires the least amount of upfront capital may sound like cheapest in the long run, but what about the cost of repairs and tech support?

Settling for a “good enough” network means your customers get a “good enough” warranty to go with it. Next-generation networks offer more support staff, diagnostic tools to keep networks up and running, as well as more robust warranties.

In our continuing coverage of the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network, we delve into myth number five: The Basic Warranty Myth.

Most enterprise networking equipment includes limited support and maintenance. With vendors like HP, according to Michael Rau (myth dispeller and Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture at Cisco), a warranty service call is limited to answering only the most basic questions. A support rep will typically ask, “Have you tried rebooting your switch?” If that’s not the issue, a replacement is sent with no effort made to troubleshoot the problem. If you want more in-depth support you have to purchase the extended support contract – which is not free.

Here are five things customers should consider when purchasing network equipment. Read More »

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Myth # 4 of the Good-Enough Network: “Just Look for Standards”

New innovations and inventions mean the flow of information has changed the method and speed at which we communicate. And the standards governing the technology industry help ensure there is security, interoperability, and a framework in place. As we innovate, old standards evolve and new ones are created. Imagine if we used the post office standards from 1890 to govern the way email is sent. If that were the case, we’d probably be putting postage stamps on our email messages.

Cisco has a deep respect for industry standards and participates in many standards bodies. As we’ve learned, vendors interpret and deploy standards differently in their equipment. These differences may result in integration challenges. While industry standards are extremely important, relying only on existing standards as you plan for future technology needs is misguided.

When companies lock themselves into standards-based networks, they miss out on a higher-level of service innovation and occasionally underestimate the integration cost involved in making the components of a standards-based system work together. Yes, standards should be used, but businesses looking for a competitive edge need to look for solutions that are also innovative.

In the forth installment of the Myths of the Good-Enough Network series, Mike Rau, VP & CTO of Cisco’s Borderless Network Architecture, delves into the “just look for standards” myth. Mike addressed the pitfalls of relying purely on a good-enough networks based purely on industry standards.  For all of the details, read the full article on Silicon Angle.

Here’s some additional information on the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network:

Blog: The Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network

Blog: Myth #1:  The Single Purpose Network

Blog: Myth #2:  Security as a Bolt-On

Blog: Myth #3:  Myth of Basic QoS

Webcast: Debunking the Myth of the Good-Enough Network

White Paper: When Good Isn’t Good Enough

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How Do You Balance Network Innovation with Standards?

June 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm PST

Do you recall what it was like before email? Nah, me neither. If you were around for the pre-email/pre-personal computer era, you may recall sending someone a letter written using a pen and paper. The only way the letter would arrive safely was (and still is) to affix a stamp to it. Feels like ancient history now when it’s possible to email a message around the globe within a matter of moments.

Suffice it to say, technology has advanced the method and speed at which we communicate. But innovation hasn’t happened in a vacuum; the standards governing the technology industry have evolved, too. Just imagine what your digital life would be like if we didn’t create standards. Would you want to put postage stamps on your email messages?

Of course, the question is, how do you balance innovation with standards? Without standards, you may miss out on the brilliant innovations that have come before (security and a framework that keeps things running smoothly, to name a couple). But rely too heavily on standards and you miss out on future innovation.

In our continuing coverage of the Seven Myths Around the Good-Enough Network on Silicon Angle, we explore myth number four--The Standards Myth.

Read More »

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Is Your Network Flexible and Secure?

May 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm PST

Remember the old days when work meant sitting at your desk, typing away at your desktop computer, at the office? There was no such thing as a smart phone or even a laptop or a tweet – you just sat at your desk and waited for the network, which was probably running at 56k dial-up speeds or slower. (Now I probably sound like my father who told me he had to walk uphill to school in the snow every day.)

These days, we don’t need to be tied to a desk, but we also expect much more of our networks: they need to be fast, secure, run the applications we need, and allow employees to work anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

So how to design an enterprise network with enough flexibility and security to address users’ needs without CIOs and IT managers having coronaries in the process? And how can enterprise networks live harmoniously (and securely) with our many devices, from smart phones to iPads to laptops?

As we continue the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network series over on Silicon Angle, Cisco’s Mike Rau--Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture--tackles those questions and more as he dispels the second myth: bolt-on security.

What exactly is bolt-on security anyway? Read More »

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