While not exactly a boxed set meant for either straight shelfware reference nor a clear path to certification, the CCIE Resource Library
offers more information per pound than just about any other boxed set out there. However, candidates who haven't passed all of the Cisco second-tier exams are likely to be eaten alive by the dense and unforgiving material presented here.
Cisco Certification is the largest and best book in this three-pack, although it's distinctly not a beginner book--and it may even go above the heads of many intermediate CCIE candidates. The book has been written as a preparation guide for the nefariously tough two-day CCIE lab, and it shows in the methodology. Rather than giving generic advice and tutorials, author Andrew Caslow states that he wants to get you to the point where you can look at a broken system and see instantly where the flaws lie. As such, the chapters are tersely written with not a word wasted, each sentence barreling onward toward the uncompromisingly complex problem-solving exercises at the end of each chapter. If paragraphs like, "In fact, a DLSw session terminates both source-route bridge RIFs and LLC2 sessions at both ends of the DLSw connection. A DLSw peer will also terminate LLC2 traffic that traverses directly connected Ethernet, FDDI, X.25 and SDLC networks" don't scare you, this is the book for you.
Keep in mind, however, that if you skip over so much as a single concept, your understanding of the rest of the chapter may fall apart like a house of cards-- this book has been designed for minimal space and maximum information, i.e., nothing is repeated. But careful and diligent reading will get you thoroughly prepared for the toughest test in the Cisco stable. The exercises are taken from real-life networks and involve all aspects of networking--and the eventual goal of spotting problems quickly and efficiently is never forgotten--a definite strength.
As comprehensive as Cisco Certification, Routing in the Internet is a deep but somewhat dull book (even by computer standards) that rewards persistence. The book is authoritative, and a thorough reading will give you an in-depth understanding of the major routing protocols that will stand you head and shoulders above the rest of the field. But the book is extremely academic, written in textbook form, and most of Routing deals with theory, not hands-on experience. However, there are a lot of theories and potential situations covered, and the packet-level concepts are critical to developing a CCIE's troubleshooting capabilities, making it a must-read for the CCIE candidate.
ATM, Volume III: Internetworking with ATM is similarly content-rich, but it's also the weakest in the set. Packed with many simple yet effective diagrams and a text that relies heavily on said drawings, Volume III is another book that's not for the novice or even an intermediate networking student, and it deals with how ATM interacts with various protocols and topologies in a truly networked environment. While a valuable read, one questions whether a better book couldn't have been placed in this slot.
A $35 savings from buying all of these books separately, the books here seem slightly odd choices--Cisco Certification is geared toward lab preparation, while ATM and Routing are meant to be shelf references, to be read once and then pulled down when you need them. Neither fish nor fowl, it's not a bad investment for the CCIE candidate or the CCIE needing reference... but more books will be needed to flesh out either side. --William Steinmetz
CCIE RESOURCE LIBRARY--2000 EDITION
A three-book set containing:
Cisco Certification: Bridges, Routers & Switches for CCIEs
by Andrew Bruce Caslow
- The Bestselling CCIE
Prep Guide and on the Job Reference! This guide is designed to dramatically improve your odds of passing the CCIE exam through use of proven test preparation techniques, including internetwork "issue spotting," troubleshooting, and analysis skills. Learn major test taking strategies. By categorizing and ordering internetworking topics, you will build a systematic study scheme. The hands-on format covers step-by-step configuration issues, expert use of Cisco IOS Show commands, and detailed analysis of Cisco IOS debugging tools. After using this book to prepare for the exam, you will treasure it as a comprehensive reference for both technical reference and problem solving.
Routing in the Internet-NEW SECOND EDITION!
by Christian Huitema
- The Classic Book on Internet
Routing Fully Updated! Written by the former Chair of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), this book presents all the latest advances in Internet routing--so crucial to the Cisco networking professional. Topics covered include: principles of Internet architecture, RIP, OSPF, EGP, BGP, CIDR, and policy routing. Advanced topics such as IP multicasting, resource reservation, mobile IP, and IPv6, the next generation IP protocol, are also covered.
ATM, Volume III: Internetworking with ATM
BY Uyless Black
- Learn How ATM Supports Efficient Internetworking!
This is the definitive guide to this crucial topic by widely respected communications specialist and bestselling author, Uyless Black, who is known for straight talk about complex technologies. Topics covered include: Multiprotocol Over ATM, Classical IP Over ATM, Frame Relay and ATM, and LANE (local area network emulation).