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Cisco: A Beginner's Guide, Third Edition 3rd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0072256352
ISBN-10: 0072256354
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You generally can't pick up knowledge of Cisco products casually, the way you can learn about Microsoft Windows, Unix, and other products that are more generally accessible. For this reason, Cisco: A Beginner's Guide performs a valuable service. It introduces internetworking novices to the language and fact base that underlie routers, switches, network protocols, and the rest of the Internet's infrastructure. True enough, no book can teach you everything you need to know about a subject as complex as internetworking, but this one does a great job of giving you the background you need to perform well in a class or do hands-on experiments intelligently.

The book goes heavy on prose, enabling you to slowly absorb the truth about complex systems as the author lays a foundation of knowledge and then builds upon it. Conceptual diagrams help drive home relationships among network devices, though the blueprints in the center of the book suffer from being split down the middle by the book's binding--foldouts would have been far better. This is a superb book, though, one of the best around on internetworking with Cisco. It would make an excellent first purchase for a future Cisco expert or a fine "fundamentals" reference for more accomplished network engineers. --David Wall

Topics covered: Internetworking from a theoretical standpoint, backed up by information on how Cisco products handle implementation (meaning, in part, that you get information on which Cisco lines and models are good for which jobs). Technically, readers get the goods on Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS), routers, switches, routing protocols, and security. There's great information on the pantheon of Cisco certifications too. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Learn the essentials of Cisco technology

Get started using Cisco products and technologies with help from this easy-to-use guide. Work with routers and switches as well as the latest wireless solutions and storage tools. You’ll also get full details on network security, including firewalls and intrusion detection methods. Plus, the book includes information on Cisco certifications to help you with your career path. A completely revised and updated best-seller, this is the ideal introductory resource for anyone interested in internetworking and Cisco technologies.

  • Work with Cisco’s Internet technologies
  • Get an overview of Cisco certifications
  • Configure Cisco routers and implement routing protocols
  • Design a switched network topology
  • Secure your network using the Cisco PIX firewall and other methods
  • Use the latest wireless solutions including the Cisco Aironet series
  • Implement Cisco SAN and CDN solutions
  • Manage and troubleshoot Cisco networks

Anthony T. Velte, CISSP, MCSE+I, CCDA, is co-founder of Velte Publishing, Inc. In addition to writing and publishing a variety of technology books, he has founded several companies and has led many large-scale network, security, and disaster recovery projects. Toby J. Velte, Ph.D., MCSE+I, CCNA, CCDA, is co-founder of Velte Publishing, Inc. Dr. Velte is an international, best-selling author of technology articles and books. He is a self-proclaimed techno-geek and has started several high-tech companies in the Minneapolis area.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 3rd edition (June 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072256354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072256352
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,058,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I passed the CCNA today, partially due to this book (although the test study guides were more useful for that purpose). I'm new to IT, coming from a completely unrelated field. This book isn't the best introduction to networking and Cisco I found (I'd recommend Myhre's CCNA Certification book for that), but I know this will be my most useful reference book as I begin my IT career. It's full of information and laid out in an accessible format. I was truly a beginner when I picked up this book, and when I finished it I had a good grasp of routers, switches, IOS, and the OSI model. I'm sure this is a great book to get if you're familiar with networking but new to Cisco. If you're really green (as I was) and in pursuit of your CCNA, you'd do well to try Myhre's book first.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an introduction to Cisco technology and Cisco's IOS operating system. It also instructs the reader on how to deal with Cisco routers, switches, hubs, and access servers. The first chapter starts with an overview of the Internet and how Cisco technology has positioned itself in the Internet explosion. The discussion is very general, and defines the terminology and basic network configurations currently of use in the Internet and networks in general. A listing of the SOHO, midrange, and backbone routers is given along with brief descriptions of each. Access switches and Catalyst switches are also discussed, and the authors are careful to distinguish between access switches and LAN switches.
This is followed in Chapter 2 by a very elementary overview of networking and is written for the absolute beginner. The OSI reference model is discussed in detail, along with an overview of Ethernet, Token Ring, and ATM network technologies. WAN trunk technologies are also covered very quickly, with T1, T3, Frame Relay, and VPN discussed. The discussion of TCP/IP is fairly detailed and a should be very informative for those exposed to this protocol for the first time. The chapter ends with an overview of IP addressing, and again, at a very understandable level. Both of the first two chapters could be skipped by a reader with more preparation.
My interest in this book was from a network modeling perspective, so I did not read Chapter 3 since I was not interested in Cisco certification.
Chapter 4 gives a good overview of Cisco routers, and shows how to log on to Cisco routers directly. A quick discussion of router security is given in this chapter along with an overview of hardware.
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Format: Paperback
For the beginner this book fills in all the holes left out by the many different study guides and training materials available for the CCNA exam. Terms and definitions are very abundant and are located right along side of the terminology being discussed. Tom Shaughnessy assumes that the reader knows nothing about Cisco products and takes you from A - Z on routers, switches, hubs, and much more. After reading this book the study book I used was more of a review guide. Also a great book for review of networking essentials. For the professional this is a great book to have in your reference library. This book is not a study guide. It contains no practice exams, questions or exercises. When it's time to get back to the basics, this is the book to have!
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Format: Paperback
I am a senior engineer for network security operations. I am not a Cisco guru but I am fairly well versed in LAN technologies and protocols. I read "Cisco: A Beginner's Guide, 2nd Edition" (CABG:2E) to learn about the products and services offered by the world's networking leader. I hoped to recommend CABG:2E to my junior network security analysts. Unfortunately, the book's error count makes it too confusing for networking novices. Those who are experienced enough to recognize the book's problems probably don't need to read it.

Reading a technical book is an issue of trust. I can tolerate a few errors. Several errors make me uneasy. Multiple errors make me question the entire work; the authors have lost my trust. I didn't lose complete faith in CABG:2E, but I was uneasy. For example, p. 74 says TCP sequence numbers count packets; they actually count bytes of data. On p. 75, the authors imply that SYN and FIN are the only TCP "code bits," omitting URG, PSH, RST, and ACK. On p. 71, SMTP is listed as a UDP protocol while SNMP is associated with TCP; they should be swapped. P. 75 oddly states "the TCP connection process is often referred to as the 'three-way handshake' because the second step involves sending the receiving station two TCP segments at once." How about SYN - SYN/ACK - ACK as three packets, hence a three-way handshake? The authors have a lot of trouble understanding denial of service attacks as well. On p. 280 they equate DoS to sending "infinite emails" (?) and on p. 289 they invent the term "FINflood" to explain why Cisco CBAC tracks TCP finwait-time. (No such "FINflood" attack exists.) P. 553 mentions "FINwait" as another (nonexistent) DoS method.
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