Publisher: Cisco Press
Although the vast majority of Cisco Press titles are geared towards intermediate and advanced readers that can solve complex network issues at 3 AM on a Sunday, this is one of those rare books that wants to help those getting into the vast subject of Cisco networking.
About the authors
Neil Anderson is the Senior Manager of Enterprise Systems Engineering with Cisco and his focus is on large corporate customers in the areas of routing and switching, wireless, security, and IP communications.
Paul has been in the networking and computer industry for over 15 years, with the majority of time spent at Cisco. Paul is currently is a Director of Product Management at Motorola for enterprise device management.
Jim Doherty is the Chief Marketing Officer at CipherOptics. Jim has over 17 years of technical marketing and engineering experience and has led marketing campaigns for IP telephony, and routing and switching and network security solutions.
Inside the book
There are two things that hit you when you first have this book in your hands. First of all - it's large, almost twice the width of a regular book. Although rather odd at first, because of the high quality bound and layout structure, this turns out to be adequate. Secondly, the title comes in full color print on very smooth paper. This is refreshing since Cisco Press books usually come in black and white.
What's important to note about this book is the abundance of diagrams and illustrations that complement the majority of the text. This makes the material accessible to those new to some of the concepts and enables them to learn it faster.
Running at 400 pages, this guide to everything related to Cisco networking covers a lots of ground, from the fundamentals to data centers and virtualized networks. When it comes to the basics, it's all here, laid out as plainly as possible.
The book is divided into parts which cover the following: networking fundamentals, infrastructure, design and availability, security, data center and application sharing, unified communications, mobility and virtualized networks.
As regards security issues, the authors have no problem getting down and dirty by discussing a variety of topics such as: perimeter security, DoS attacks, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, filtering, IP surveillance, and much more. With titles such as: "Why should I care about deep packet inspection?" you can see the simple approach the authors opted for.
The material does not go in-depth, nor is it supposed to. Rather, you get a general grasp on what's important. Based on you interest in a certain topic, you'll be ready to seek more information.
The combination of quality paper and full color print make this book definitely stand out from the usual stuff on a geek's bookshelf. The heavy visual approach ends up as the perfect way of illustrating material that some novices may perceive as confusing or difficult.
As years go by I see Cisco Press trying out new formats, layouts and approaches to explain complicated topics. "Cisco Networking Simplified (2nd Edition)" is a valuable addition to your reading list and if you're rather new to networking concepts you should consider it. It won't be the only book you'll need on the subject, but it will provide you with a first-rate foundation.