CISCO IOS Cookbook, 2nd edition

The first edition of this book was called "Cisco Cookbook". The addition of IOS to the title reflects the book's focus, concentrating only on Cisco's Internetwork Operating System, which runs on most of their routers and switches, and having no dealing with any other Cisco products, such as the PIX firewall.

The book's chapters cover a large range of topics, from simple router configuration, through configuring wide area networks and large-scale LANs, and a chapter is dedicated to covering IPv6. Each chapter is divided into "recipes", i.e. common tasks that administrators are likely to come across, with each task split into a slightly more detailed description of the problem; the solution, mostly involving the IOS commands needed to solve said problem, but occasionally a Perl script is used to solve the task; and a discussion. The discussion explains in reasonable detail the commands that were used in the solution, along with, if more than one solution could solve a problem, why the authors chose their particular solution. The introduction to each chapter covers essential background to the topic, such as RIP, EIGRP, BGP or IPv6, that are being covered in that chapter. Although not a formal description of the protocols, there is enough detailed explanation that even someone who is unfamiliar with the subject matter should be able to understand enough to competently set up their router.

I have found this book handy to have around, and would certainly recommend it to anyone involved in administering Cisco hardware, from simple switches to WAN routers. As a relative Cisco novice, however, I would have found it nicer to have a few more recipes on basic setup and configuration.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Dan Kolb


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