- Hardcover: 696 pages
- Publisher: Cisco Press; 3 edition (June 21, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1587201771
- ISBN-13: 978-1587201776
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,262,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author
Anthony Bruno, CCIE No. 2738, is a senior principal consultant with British Telecom with more than 17 years of experience in the internetworking field. Previously, he worked for International Network Services. His other network certifications include CISSP, CCDP, CCVP, and CWNA. He has consulted for many enterprise and service-provider customers in the design, implementation, and optimization of large-scale data and IP telephony networks. He completed his MSEE at the University of Missouri–Rolla in 1994 and his BSEE at the University of Puerto Rico–Mayaguez in 1990. He is also a part-time instructor for the University of Phoenix–Online, teaching networking courses.
Steve Jordan, CCIE No. 11293, is a senior consultant with British Telecom with more than 11 years of experience in internetworking. Previously, he worked for International Network Services. His other network certifications include CCDP, CCSP, and CCVP. He specializes in security, internetworking, and voice technologies. He has extensive experience with large-scale data center environments and has designed and implemented various network solutions in the manufacturing, telecommunication, and transportation industries. Steve was also a technical reviewer for this book.
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Thankfully, the book only spends the first chapter on this stuff. The 2nd chapter introduces a bunch of network models. I remember the old days - was it only 7 years ago - when Cisco networks had a core, distribution, and access layer. It was a nice way to organize which services went where. I could deal with that. Today, that simple, hierarchical model seems so simple and quaint. Today, Cisco gives us the Enterprise Campus Model with layers and modules all over the place. This new and much more complex model might even have some real value, but the book is inconsistent and confusing in how it treats it. The pictures seem to change and the names of the layers and sublayers and modules are inconsistent or don't make sense. Why in the world is the enterprise data center a remote module in the diagram on page 43? Some text on page 51 explains that the enterprise data center is really an offsite disaster recovery site. Sheesh - come on guys!
After the first 2 chapters and 65 pages, we get into some real meat. There are chapters about LAN and WAN design, wireless, routing protocols, management, security, VOIP, and a host of other topics. But keep that Enterprise Campus model in mind because lots of subsequent chapters refer to it. And stay adaptable because the layers and modules and submodules seem to change from chapter to chapter.
Of course, the CCDA test has questions about the Enterprise Campus model. It will be up to you to figure it out, based on the treatment in this book and any Cisco articles you can get your hands on. I hear more laughter coming from Cisco. In fairness, the Enterprise Campus model seems like an attempt to put a unified architectural framework around today's increasingly complex and diverse networks. Perhaps the world is becoming too complex to model this way.
Some of the book is downright misleading. Here is a quote from page 406. This is in chapter 12, about BGP, and the context is about redistributing routes:
"When redistributing routes into OSPF, use the subnets keyword to permit subnetted routes to be received. If you do not use it, only the major network route is redistributed, without any subnetworks. In other words, OSPF performs automatic summarization to IP classful network values."
There are test questions about classless and classful route summarization, and the above paragraph is misleading at best. For the CCDA test, dig into route summarization using other sources.
The VOIP treatment also needs work. Page 528 has a huge table about bandwidth requirements for various codec techniques ranging from G.711 thru G.729. And the paragraph immediately below the table points the reader to a tool on the Cisco website to calculate bandwidth. It would be nice if the link was easy to use. Instead, the Cisco website takes you through a torturous login sequence before finally granting access to the tool. It turns out, the Internet is filled with tools to calculate bandwidth needs for various codecs. It also turns out that the CCDA test has questions about VOIP bandwidth usage.
It occurred to me that since tools are out there to calculate bandwidth needs, I should not have to memorize this huge table for the CCDA test. I should be able to calculate it. Learning one formula should be less work and more value than memorizing a 70 cell table, right? Unfortunately, the CCDA book is no help here. You can find a great writeup on calculating VOIP bandwidth in this book: Authorized Self-Study Guide, Cisco Voice over IP (CVoice), by Kevin Wallace, Copyright 2007, Cisco Press. Look on page 241. Study the text in Wallace's book leading up to the formula on page 241 and this will serve you well on the CCDA test.
The CCDA book has typos throughout the text. The book also comes with a CD with 200+ test simulation questions. I did not count up all the questions with typos but I'll bet around 10 percent of the questions have problems. For example, one question has no correct answer, although the explanatory text gives a narrative with the answers. Other multiple choice questions have the wrong letters but correct text for answers.
The CCDA test itself is just plain nasty. Some of the questions are opinion questions, so make sure your opinion matches that of Cisco - at least while you're sitting in front of a computer in the test room. Is this fair? No, but too bad. Cisco has the gold and makes the rules. At least one test question has a blatant typo, so watch out for that. Nearly all the questions are worded in such a way to confuse the test taker. Many questions force you to examine consequences of design choices, so memorizing facts is not good enough.
I can see a committee of Cisco engineers sitting around a table dreaming up confusing questions and laughing about it. It must be nice to have power - enjoy it while it lasts.
Bottom line - does this book prepare you for the CCDA test? It doesn't have everything you need but it certainly helps. It isn't perfect but may be the best prep tool available. I would not have passed without it. Go through the questions at the end of each chapter several times, until you can answer every single question in your sleep. Also install the CD and go through those questions several times. Know them cold.
One final piece of advice. Get mad. The Cisco guys are laughing at you. They want you to fail. If you want to pass this test, you must want to succeed more than they want you to fail. Get mad, bear down, and beat these guys.
While I found this book to be very helpful in preparing for the CCDA exam do not use this book as your only material in preparation for the exam.
If you want to fast-track, you can by-pass sections by taking the pre-test for each chapter. Or, do what I did, and use the entire book as a detailed review to keep current on best approaches and methodology for network design, as well as the certification exam preparation. Since it takes a back to the basics approach, you can't really go wrong either way.
In a world of boring technical material, this is still a readable and digestible work.
As one would expect, Cisco Press comes to provide another fine title that will help any CCDA candidate succeed in their path to conquer the exam.
While there are quite a few study guides out there promising to help you, this is perhaps the only one written by Cisco CCIE's with more than 10 years of experience.
The book is populated with around about 650 pages and 20 chapters full of great information and material that will surely cover beyond the CCDA exam needs. Of course, as with every Cisco Press title, the book is decorated with a very nice hard cover and the well known white-dark green colour combinations.
At the back of the book, you'll be happy to find a CDROM containing more than 200 practice questions for the CCDA exam and the full text in electronic format so you can carry it with you wherever you might be.
Neatly organised, the chapters are broken down into 5 main groups of which each one covers a specific range of topics related to each other:
Group 1: General Network Design
Group 2: LAN and WAN Design
Group 3: The Internet Protocol and Routing Protocols
Group 4: Security, Convergence, and Network Management
Group 5: Comprehensive Scenarios
What really amazed me is that each topic discussed contains numerous examples and adequate diagrams to ensure the reader understands what its talking about. Various questions that might popup are answered in most cases, proving that the content has been thourghly reviewed so no gaps are left.
The authors tone through out the book is comfortable and helps the reading process no matter how long a chapter might be. At the end of each chapter, you'll find the helpful `Foundation Summary' that will help you quickly revise the key points on the chapter you've read and then comes the great Q&A section which consists of around 20-25 questions to test yourself on.
Overall, I admit the book has left a very positive impression. Easy to read and follow with plenty of examples, questions and answers to help you get through the CCDA experience.
If you believe that a book is a good companion for your professional success, then this one will surely become one of your favourite!
A well earned 4,5/5 without hesitation!