Obtaining Cisco’s CCNA certification, one of the more difficult accreditations for IT professionals, requires a thorough understanding of networking concepts and Cisco networking devices. Steve McQuerry’s Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices, from Cisco Press, is a great place to start studying for this cert.

Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices

Edited by: Steve McQuerry, CCIE

Published by: Cisco Press, 2000

ISBN: 1578701112

Available for $60 at Fatbrain.com

A solid foundation
According to Cisco, “Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices is an entry-level book designed for people who have one to three years of internetworking experience, who are familiar with basic internetworking concepts, and who have some experience with the TCP/IP protocol.”

I would agree that, if you already understand general networking principles, Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices is a perfect introduction to the world of Cisco devices. This book can help you build a solid groundwork from which you can expand your Cisco training.

Designed for the classroom
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices is based on the Cisco WWT course of the same name. The course Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) combines and replaces two previous Cisco courses: Cisco Routers and LAN Switches (CRLS) and Introduction to Cisco Router Configuration (ICRC). The course also contains information from Cisco’s LAN Switch Configuration course (CLSC). ICND is a single course that covers Cisco switches and routers in realistic environments.

The book is comprised of five main sections and 13 chapters. Each chapter builds on the previous one, making it essential to read the book from cover to cover. Part one, “Getting Started with Cisco Networks,” offers chapters that contain an overview of networking concepts and Cisco devices. Part two, “Assembling and Cabling Cisco Devices,” investigates the physical connections required to assemble network devices. Part three, “Interconnecting Cisco Routers,” explores the interconnectivity between networks using protocols such as TCP/IP and IPX. Part four, “Extending the Network to WANs,” includes chapters that look beyond the local area network (LAN) and discuss connecting devices across wide geographic regions. Part five contains the appendices.

The bottom line
McQuerry’s Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices is probably the best place to start your Cisco education. Just don’t plan on reading this book and passing your CCNA exam. The book is incredibly informative, but it is missing a few key ingredients. The book would benefit from color images, a few study hints, and a companion CD containing the complete text and sample test questions. Despite these shortcomings, I wouldn’t attempt a Cisco certification without first reading this book.

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