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3 thoughts on “Network Warrior: Everything you need to know that wasn’t on the CCNA exam Reviews

  1. Richard Bejtlich "TaoSecurity" says:
    98 of 100 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Maybe the best book I will read in 2007, July 16, 2007
    By 
    Richard Bejtlich “TaoSecurity” (Metro Washington, DC) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Network Warrior: Everything you need to know that wasn’t on the CCNA exam (Paperback)

    Network Warrior is the best network administration book I’ve ever read. I spend most of my reading time on security books, but because I lean towards network security I like reading complementary sources on protocols and infrastructure. Gary Donahue has written a wonderful book that I highly recommend for anyone who administers, supports, or interacts with networks. Network Warrior may be the best book I will read in 2007.

    Why is Network Warrior so great? I think the key is the author’s willingness to share personal recommendations. There are plenty of books about technology and syntax. I’ve read and reviewed many, most of which I liked for what they offered. However, it’s rare to read a network book that says “here’s how you should implement this,” rather than just list options. I’m at the point in my career where I know what I might do; now I want to know what a real expert would do. Donahue provides that wisdom in many sections, but especially in Part VIII on network design.

    A second reason I really enjoyed Network Warrior was its coverage of a variety of Cisco features. Sure, I had read of many of these elsewhere, but I thought Donahue made many of them clear, especially in comparison to each other. There are better references for ACLs, like Cisco Router Firewall Security by Richard Deal, but when ACLs are described next to route maps or VLAN maps, Ciscoland becomes a little easier to understand. Donahue’s explanations of EtherChannel, switching algorithms, and autonegotiation are other good examples. I even admit that the author corrected my misunderstanding of QoS, as he says “QoS does not limit bandwidth, it guarantees it, which is not the same thing” (p 429). Elsewhere he says “When there is no congestion, any protocol can use any amount of available bandwidth it needs” (p 428) and “while scheduling of packets always takes places, the limits set are really only enforced during congestion” (p 427).

    The third reason I like Network Warrior is the attention paid to understanding the fundamentals of certain technologies and products. The author ensures the reader gets a real grounding in telecom terms and technology, like T-1 lines. For products, I liked chapters on the 6500 series switch, content switches, and layer 3 switches.

    Finally, the writing is exceptionally clear. The diagrams are excellent and make their point very well. The author’s suggestions for being a better administrator apply to any technical operator. I liked Donahue’s repeated suggestion to “never assume anything” and to start troubleshooting at layer 1.

    Although I rated Network Warrior five stars, in a second edition I would like to see more on layer two fundamentals. I would also like to read about 802.1X and perhaps even Cisco NAC, since it seems to be becoming popular. Overall, however, you should buy and read Network Warrior right now. I loved it and will recommend it to anyone who wants to be a better network administrator.

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  2. Sean E. Connelly "Just a bithead - CCIE#17085" says:
    46 of 47 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The best networking book of 2007!!, August 16, 2007
    This review is from: Network Warrior: Everything you need to know that wasn’t on the CCNA exam (Paperback)

    Network Warrior by Gary Donahue may just be the best gem of 2007. I purchased this book solely based on Richard Bejtlich’s glowing recommendation. To be honest, I’m typically a little weary of these `all-in-one’ books, because it is hard to master `all’ areas (not to mention to easily discuss `all’ areas). Unquestionably, Mr. Donahue has been able to buck this trend by providing a great resource that answers many questions efficiently and quickly.

    To begin with, where does most networking start – layer 2, correct? Concerning NICs and layer 2, most people take auto-negotiation to be (dare I write) plug-n-play. This is the first book I’ve seen where it discusses `parallel detection’. Donahue is correct on page 20 as stating auto-negotiation is a protocol. He goes on to explain the `why was it built like this’ of auto-negotiation. It actually makes sense now. I showed these 2 or 3 pages to a couple of other network engineers, and they both found this information to be both novel and enlightening. Right from the start, I knew I was going to be hooked on this book.

    Another gem in this book, this is the first book where I see Dr. Radia Perlman’s `Algorhyme’ rhyme printed since Perlman’s own book. Again, probably stupid, useless info to most, but Donahue gives the foundation for a lot of the topics discussed. The discussion starting on page 207 for the 6500 backplane, Chapter 18 dedicated to the 3750, the section starting on page 156 discussing GRE tunnels and the pits and perils of recursive routing, Content Switch Modules starting on chapter 28 – all topics that are both helpful and well documented in `Network Warrior’.

    I could go and on about this book. Overall, this is a great book. I’ve gone back to it at least 5 times a week since I purchase it last month. I can’t imagine a better resource.

    I give this book 5 pings out of 5:
    !!!!!

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  3. Todd Hawley says:
    22 of 23 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent Reference Book, December 7, 2007
    By 
    Todd Hawley (San Francisco CA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Network Warrior: Everything you need to know that wasn’t on the CCNA exam (Paperback)

    This book is one of the best reference books about network security you’re going to find currently on the market. It covers a wide variety of topics and issues every network administrator will face at one point or another. The author in the typical O’Reilly style also takes great steps to insure the book is not some dry tome, but occasionally puts in light comments to keep your attention. One thing I really liked about this book was its explanations of various parts of networks, how each part works, and steps to take when something fails.

    Among topics covered are VLANs, Trunking, Spanning Tree Protocol, routers, tunneling, switches, firewall theory, even chapters on designing networks, all topics that any networking security book should cover and the book’s author covers all of these topics well. Also included are examples of screens that you will see while installing a network feature or troubleshooting a problem.

    This book is not for the squeamish or the novice, but any network admin will be glad to have it.

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