The Expert Recommends:
Essential Resources for Networking Beginners
By Thomas M. Thomas II - June 12, 2000
The ability to learn on your own is a skill that everyone should possess
and cultivate, and it is a vital skill for those who are involved in networking.
Traditional, instructor-led training in this field is expensive and usually
requires travel. It is therefore recommended that you first begin your
learning on your own so that when you do attend a training course, you
will be prepared to get everything you can out of it. The three books
I recommend here will provide you with excellent technical material for
all major areas of study within networking.
Advanced IP Routing with Cisco Routers
by Terry Slattery and Bill Burton. McGraw Hill, 1998.
Description: The ability to understand TCP/IP, the protocol that
binds the Internet and many networks together, is crucial. Entire books
have been written on this subject in an effort to explain these fundamental
building blocks. Terry and Bill discuss the intricacies of the TCP/IP
protocol suite and how it operates in a Cisco Networking environment.
Today, many people use TCP/IP with Cisco equipment and are not even aware
of many of the features and reasons behind its operation. This book will
answer those questions, and it does so in an easy-to-read manner. Understanding
the many facets and functionalities of TCP/IP is essential; however, the
areas that cause the most confusion are IP Addressing and Subnetting.
This book addresses these areas in a clear and simple manner that is beneficial
Audience: Networkers who are at the beginner- to intermediate-level
would find this book helpful.
Description: Most networking experts consider this book to be
of the cornerstone texts. Mr. Stevens provides an exhaustive coverage
of TCP/IP and its operation. A better-regarded text on the subject does
not exist. If you have serious aspirations to truly understand what is
going on in a network, this is the best text for you. I could
continue trumpeting its value, but you should go to your local bookstore
and see for yourself; I know that it will grab your attention as soon
as you begin flipping through it.
Audience: This book is appropriate for intermediate-level networkers,
provided that they possess a basic understanding of networking.
Description: This is a cornerstone text that covers the basics
on switching, bridging, and the operation of the Spanning Tree Protocol
(STP). Radia Perlman is one of the most enjoyable authors; she presents
complicated topics with an eye to realism and history, and sprinkles humor
throughout. Her vast experience in the industry allows her to accomplish
this, and she is also the author of the Spanning Tree Protocol. Those
of you who have switches or bridges in your network will find this book
to be an invaluable educational tool.
Audience: This book is great for intermediate-level readers. More
advanced students should also see the book CCIE Professional Development:
Cisco LAN Switching by Kennedy Clark and Kevin Hamilton (Cisco Press,
One of the primary architects of OpenCable, Michael
Adams, explains the key concepts of this initiative in his book
Broadband, Second Edition
by George Abe
Introduces the topics surrounding high-speed networks
to the home. It is written for anyone seeking a broad-based familiarity
with the issues of residential broadband (RBB) including product
developers, engineers, network designers, business people, professionals
in legal and regulatory positions, and industry analysts.