Customer Reviews: Optical Network Design and Implementation (paperback) (Networking Technology)
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on April 8, 2004
This book is probably the most comprehensive and in-depth source of information about optical networking that I have ever read. The book opens with an introduction to optical networking, discusses SONET/SDH architectures, and briefly presents all the concepts and technologies, which are covered in detailed later chapters.
The second chapter delves immediately into the details of Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and analog signal processing. T-carrier and E-carrier hierarchies and their signaling and framing formats are examined, followed-up by a review of the ISDN BRI/PRI standard and ISDN frame formats.
The next section of the book looks at the physical characteristics of fiber optics including the materials used, physical construction of the cable, and behavioral and performance characteristics of different optical materials under differing conditions. For those interested in calculating their own measurements, refraction, power measurement, and span loss formulas are presented along with a few case studies as examples. Splicing techniques and optical connectors are also covered here. Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (WDM) (both coarse and dense) and various dispersion compensation techniques finish up this section.
Chapters 5 and 6 cover SONET and SDH architectures respectively. This is a fairly thorough examination of the two standards and includes a detailed look at the electrical and optical signals, SONET/SDH technology layers, framing, transmission overhead, multiplexing, error reporting, topologies and topology protection strategies, to name just a few! Packet ring technologies such as gigabyte Ethernet and Multi-service Provisioning Platform (MSPP) are also presented in this section for those applications where end-to-end Ethernet framing is desirable.
The Cisco product lines for SONET and SDH platforms are presented next, with a fairly in-depth look at the Cisco ONS 15454 which is positioned as Cisco's most versatile and widely used multi-service add/drop multiplexer (ADM). Configuration options for control, alarm, electrical, optical, and Ethernet modules are examined along with an introduction to Cisco's Transport Controller (CTC), a graphical application for provisioning and managing optical networks.
Chapters 9-11 provide detailed, over 300 pages worth, of explanations and examples for configuring the ONS 15454 for SONET MSSP, SDH MSPP, and Ethernet over SONET & SDH. Step by step directions for different configurations utilizing CTC, and accompanying screen shots, make for an easily understandable provisioning and configuration process.
Overall, this book serves as a welcome addition to any technical bookshelf. Whether a seasoned technical expert looking for a good reference book, or a beginner looking to learn about optical networking technologies, this book is well written for both audiences. This book earns a place as one of my personal favorites. For those looking to test their knowledge on the material covered in this book, chapter 12 provides a selection of insightful and challenging case studies.
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on November 8, 2004
Where do I start with such a superb book? I recently read the book titled "Optical Network Design and Implementation" by Vivek Alwayn. ISBN: 1587051052. I had looked at several sources for a good book on optical networks. After searching technical bookstores and on-line searches, I became discouraged. I usually have high expectations when it comes to books. Then I finally found this one, which blew my expectations out of the water. This book is a great resource of information regarding optical networking.

This book goes into significant detail about the different technologies that make up optical networking. The book covers everything from the refraction of light to different multiplexing methods.

I would recommend this book to any Network Engineer that is interested in optical networks. The content relates mostly to work in the services provider space, but for people like me that can't stand not knowing, this is it.

There is literally at least one figure per page if not more. The author and contributors have done a superb job of making sure the appropriate illustrations; tables and figures are in the detail of the book. These figures assist a great deal when attempting to accurately comprehend a certain topic or technology.

The first half of the book is strictly standards technology. The author wastes no time at all diving into technology. This book is strictly for the engineer. Lightweights need not apply.

The second half of the book provides detailed information on Cisco's arsenal of equipment that provide Multiservice SONET and SDH functions. The author includes screen shots of the configuration examples along the way. Having screen shots included in the text has definite advantages, especially when it comes to teaching the reader what to look for and turning text into actual application. Often times saving the reader time when it comes to implementing. The disadvantage to including the screen shots is that it's very possible as the product matures, that the screen may change slightly or perhaps significantly. This might confuse a reader in the future.

There is an outstanding section that lists the cards and components for the Cisco ONS 15454. Another nice addition is the inclusion of information regarding the Cisco Transport Controller (CTC) and the Cisco Transport Manager (CTM). There are several screen shots along with great information about these applications.

The remaining chapters cover just about every detail that's needed to configure the ONS 15454. This device seems to have everything you need to scale the Metro Area Network. The authors also includes in a few foundational chapters, a kind of, where we came from and where we are going in the Metro Area space. This section is a very nice read for someone who doesn't live and breathe MAN technologies.

The company I work for is getting ready to start the process of searching for alternate solutions and ways to scale the Metro Area Network for our companies use. This book has provided me with a great perspective as to what is available today and the pro's and con's of several optical technologies.

Thanks again Cisco Press for publishing a vital resource.
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on January 24, 2008
I work for a switch fabric semiconductor company. I wanted to gain a better understanding of the types of systems that our components would be used in, specifically relating to IP-over-SONET traffic, MSPPs and ring protection mechanisms. This book fit the bill quite nicely. It covers the basics of fiber optic technology, including DWDM. The treatment of SONET and SDH is very thorough, with good illustrations included. The last part of the book deals specifically with the provisioning and applications of various Cisco ONSs. I found the Network Case Studies in the last chapter to be very informative, as it helps reinforce the material and demonstrate how it can be applied to a real-world network.

I give the review 4 stars, for a couple reasons. First, having experience as a designer of fiber optic transponder modules, I felt that the treatment of fiber optic technologies and DWDM in chapters 3 and 4 was a little on the light side. Some of the important concepts, such as chromatic dispersion, are treated in somewhat vague terms and could be explained more fully, without getting too technical. For a better understanding of such concepts, I recommend "Understanding Fiber Optics" by Hecht.

Also, there are numerous small errors in the book that may lead to misunderstanding of the material. Some errors look like simple typos, and others are technical errors. They are too numerous to list here, but hopefully an errata or second revision will be published to correct these. For example, in the unidirectional and bidirectional rings shown in figures 5-36 through 5-38, the east and west traffic directions are swapped. This may cause confusion when attempting to trace the traffic flow in the diagrams, as described in the text (which is correct).
Figure 5-22 shows a diagram of an Add/Drop Mux, but the text describes it as a Terminal Mux. granted, these are small problems, but may cause confusion for some, nonetheless.

All in all, this is a very good book and I highly recommend it.

Roger Miller
Enigma Semiconductor
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on January 2, 2006
Optical Network Design and Implementation is the most technically informative Cisco book I have ever written. So much so, that it should be required reading for any WAN engineer/architect.

Most standard Cisco training (CCNA, CCNP, CCDP, CCIE R&S) will not provide the information in this book. However, all WAN engineers need a solid understanding of optical networking, particularly SONET/SDH rings for large circuit delivery and protection at important locations. Many outages are caused by lack of or improper configuration and provisioning of SONET rings. Redundant routers, good IGP design, and backup links can be rendered useless when all transport is delivered over the same broken SONET ring. This book provides the necessary level of detail so engineers can prevent these problems and provision new SONET rings correctly.

The only drawback of this book (and thus the reason for 4 stars instead of 5) is its level of detail. This book is not for beginners or for light reading. I even had to read the book twice to get the information clear. Many sections are extremely detailed, explaining traffic down to the byte level. There were also a large amount of acronyms to keep track of. The book reads more like a manual than a book. Nonetheless, this book is worth the reading effort. It will be hard to find this level of detail on optical networking anywhere else, even on the Internet.

The book layout is essentially split into two. The first section explains optical networking in general, vendor neutral format (fiber optics, SONET, SDH, RPR, etc). This is very useful for all readers. The second section explains the Cisco MSPP platform. This will be very useful to organizations using this platform.
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on August 14, 2004
Touted at a comprehensive guide to understanding and configuring multiservice DWDM, SONET, and SDH architectures; this book delivers on that opening statement. Nothing short of a graduate level engineering course will deliver as much content to the reader as this volume does, and at this price!

Although somewhat specific in later chapters to Cisco ONS equipment, the theory and early chapters serve as a definitive reference for all Network Engineers. Optical Network Design and Implementation opens with an introduction to optical networking, Time Division Multiplexing, Fiber Optic Technology and Wavelength Division Multiplexing to refresh and educate the reader just prior to immersion into the SONET/SDH and Multiservice arena.

A complete reference to Cisco IOS commands for ML-Series ONS cards is included, as well as a comprehensive Glossary, and References used throughout the book. It would be hard to find anything further on the subject, unless you have access to Cal Poly or MIT campus libraries; or you are currently enrolled in those prestigious engineering programs.

For those interested in pursuing the CCIE Service Provider Track certification, or the Cisco Optical Specialist qualification, this book is necessary for your professional library.

As the world hungers forever more information, and that need grows at an exponential rate, there will also be a requirement to fill that need with the required data. Optical Network Design and Implementation provides the path to meet that need by educating the engineer of the capabilities of Optical Networks now, and shows the promise of what the future will bring. By use of a broad range of technical details, configuration, illustrations and examples, Optical Network Design and Implementation can be used for anyone designing, implementing, or supporting an optical network.

Traditionally Optical Networking has always been a Service Provider or Metro Area Network service and engineering necessity. As the demand for higher bandwidth and additional capacity pushes its way out of the campus LAN, additional knowledge will be necessary to implement CWDM and DWDM at the local layers of the network edge. Another area of concern, lurking deep in the campus area network where infrastructure growth usually is limited, is lack of spare fiber to implement new optical network designs. Optical Network Design and Implementation provides the knowledge to overcome these barriers now and well into the future.

Even if you don't use Cisco equipment, the book can increase your knowledge and understanding of current optical technologies to provide you with design concepts and rules for building highly scalable optical networks.
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on March 21, 2005
I am a Lead Engineer for a major government contractor. Currently we are installing and providing O&M support for a Cisco ONS-15454 optical network. In order to enhance my competence for this project, I procured this book. It been a godsend for providing technical information for this project. Also, it provides >80% of the study reference material for the Cisco Optical Certification, which I plan to take in a few months.
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on June 21, 2004
I had been struggling to find an Optical book that covered SDH in detail from a Cisco ONS perspective. Most books out there only focus on SONET. It is almost like SDH does not exist. This book covers both, SONET and SDH (in a detail you cannot imagine). It covers everything from TDM to Metro Ethernet, RPR and MPLS over SDH. Finally a solid SDH book! Thank you Mr. Alwayn and Cisco Press.
Adam Fowler
Senior Network Engineer
British Telecom
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on October 16, 2005
I work every day with fiber optic networks and didnt know anything about Cisco programming but didnt had trouble for reading this book. It is excellent for whatever you need to know or do with optical networks. Very practical and down to earth approach.
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