The Seven Myths of the Good Enough Network

April 27, 2011 - 24 Comments

There is a debate raging in the IT industry about the role of the network.

In the same week that a gaming company’s network was hacked and the personal information of 60 million customers was leaked, there is a debate raging about whether the network matters.

In the same moment that the iPad is being adopted by 65% of the Fortune 100 — obliterating conventional wisdom about how corporate networks support consumer devices and mobility —there is a debate raging about whether the network matters.

On one side we have newcomers to the networking industry and some industry commentators who believe that the value of a network should be determined only by the cost of its components.  They argue that customers should focus squarely on acquisition cost, not the value of their network assets.  They argue that customers should focus on capital cost, not network capability and innovation. They believe the network has become a utility; that ‘good’ is good enough.

We all understand that negotiating the best price for goods and services always makes good business sense.  But this debate is about more than that.

The debate is about making a choice between a tactical network where getting the lowest possible price up front is paramount – and a strategic network investment that enables customers to adapt quickly to new business imperatives and to handle the increased demands on their business.

This debate has fueled numerous myths and misperceptions in our industry.  Here are the seven most misleading Myths of the Good Enough Network.

1. The Application and Endpoint Ignorant Myth: Good Enough Networks typically operate on the notion that data is data—all just ones and zeroes.  More sophisticated next generation networks are built on innovative products that adjust to the application being delivered and the endpoint device on which it appears.

2.      Basic QoS Myth: If a company has no plans for video applications or rolling out virtual desktops, a Good Enough Network and basic QoS may suffice. If, however, the business wants to take advantage of voice, video or mission critical applications then they need to invest in the QoS capabilities available in an Enterprise Next-Generation Network.

3.      Single Purpose Myth: Customers investing in networks for a single purpose are missing opportunities to use the power of the network to improve carbon footprint, save energy costs, and provide unified management for wired and wireless networks.

4.      Basic Warranty Myth: Service contracts and warranties are not created equal. You usually get what you pay for. Unfortunately, you never realize how good a service contract is until you need it. Be prepared and look at the fine print.

5.      Security as a Bolt-On Myth: Network security has to keep pace with an ever-changing threat profile and the increased use of mobile devices. When different security elements don’t share information, it magnifies the challenge of creating consistent security across the entire IT environment and can leave the customer exposed to costly security incidents.

6.      Acquisition Cost Myth: When building an IT network, about 20 percent of the budget is for acquiring the hardware and 80 percent is for operating costs. If customers don’t assess the complete financial impact, building a tactical network can quickly become the more expensive network. Perhaps even more importantly, companies that settle for tactical networks will miss out on the business benefits and customer engagement enabled with a next-generation network.

7.      Just Look for Standards Myth: While industry standards are extremely important, relying only on existing standards as you plan for future needs is misguided.  When companies lock themselves into standards-based, good-enough networks, they miss out on higher-level service innovation.

Have you had any experience with any of these “good enough networking” myths?  What are some of the other myths that you’ve hearing in the industry?

If you’re interested in learning more about the seven myths Cisco recently held a 45-minute webcast hosted by Cisco EVP of Worldwide Operations, Rob Lloyd, and Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of NYC-based BlueWater Communications.  Cisco also recently released a white paper designed to debunk the myths of the good enough network.

Read the White Paper: When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

View the IPTV Broadcast: Debunking the Myth of the Good Enough Network

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  1. Great article! Nice to see someone thinking outside the box!

  2. Very interesting article and good described topic. I like it very much

  3. thanks, very informative

  4. I understand Cisco is freaking out about the market share losses in their core business (switching & routing), but this white paper is very desperate. On Myth 7, how can you “lock in” to a standards based network? Isn’t that a contradiction since adhering to standards allows an organization to take a best of breed approach?

  5. Nice Article Mike, I like these seven myths. Thankyou for sharing.

  6. I think you will find these useful guides as it crisply documents real world implementations and helps streamline the deployment of Cisco and partners solutions.

  7. These 7 myths are very interesting to say the least.
    I am a big fan of everything you write. Keep up the great work!

  8. Really informative post.Thanks Again.

  9. Good job. Nice article.

    I will follow this blog.

  10. For sure an eye opener… i will re-evaluate our security.
    You always kind of leave this hanging until its too late.

  11. Very good article on myths on networking especially those on costs

  12. i just want to say that this is a good article. ineed some motivation to generate my initial works. thanks a lot

  13. Acquisition Cost Myth! I run a side networking business, and I can’t begin to tell you the looks I get when trying to explain the costs of maintaining a network. There seems to be this belief that the heavy bill is getting the network up and running… reality check!

  14. Very good article on myths on networking especially those on costs

  15. Really nice post Mike, I’m sure it really gives me inspiration to make my network more secure

  16. Nice article Mr. Mike. The combination of some of these posted myths can really help in making the network more secure.

  17. Very interesting topic. I’m looking forward for this article. Gotta check those you mentioned. Thanks.

  18. Thanks so much for your article. I enjoyed it very much and it gave cause for much thought as to what I see and hear out here. Thanks so much. I will have to check out the white papers you mentioned. Thanks again!

  19. Nice Article..i am interested in learning more about seven myths

  20. Good idea to share.But how to combine the seven aspects of the above into an effective and efficient tactics? Because I think the biggest problem (at least for me) is about combine all aspects.

    • The combination of all of the aspects is one of the keys to delivering the capabilities of a Next Generation Network. Many partners and customers have been asking for help in bringing all the elements together. To support this, Cisco has been spending a significant amount of resources on doing pre-integration of individual use cases that make up the Next Generation Network. This work is available publicly at:

      I think you will find these useful guides as it crisply documents real world implementations and helps streamline the deployment of Cisco and partners solutions.

  21. Mike–On May 24th Cisco and (ISC)2 are co-sponsoring a National Town Hall on Cybersecurity for US Government and Education. Public Sector Leaders know that a “good enough” approach to cybersecurity can put our critical infrastructure at risk. I would invite folks interested to hear from 8 Experts in the field including Cisco Senior VP Don Proctor in this TeleWebcast that uses Cisco TelePresence to bring the message of IT Leaders across the land raising the level of discourse with their peers. See