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« on: June 10, 2004, 06:04:35 PM »

I am reviewing Routing TCP/IP Volume 1 (ISBN 1578700418), part of the CCIE Professional Development Series from Cisco Press.  This book is widely regarded as part of the ‘«£Holy Trinity‘«ō of CCIE preparatory books.  In addition to CCIE prep, it is also highly valued as an essential desk reference for anyone pursuing a career as a senior-level routing engineer.  The author, Jeff Doyle, having written the two most recognized tomes on IP Routing, is a respected authority on the topic.  His writing style is very clear and not at all difficult to read, which sets him apart from a lot of the authors in the ‘«£high-end routing book‘«ō category.

The book is part of a set of two books.  TCP/IP Volume 1 contains coverage of the major interior routing protocols (RIP, IGRP, EIGRP, OSPF & ISIS) and follows it with coverage of route redistribution, filtering and mapping.  TCP/IP Volume 2 covers the BGP exterior gateway protocol and follows it with coverage of advanced IP routing issues.  As someone who‘«÷s come up through the CCNA-to-CCNP-to-CCIE-candidate path, I recognized all of the topics from the BSCI curriculum.  All this book really does is takes them to another level of depth.  I highly recommend this path of coming at the CCIE, because unless you‘«÷ve done it all and seen it all, there‘«÷s way too much information to take in during a single reading.  Reading the BSCI book first gets you familiar with all of the topics, so that you‘«÷re not overwhelmed when reading the Doyle books.

While many pan this book as being outdated since it was written in 1998, my contention is that all of the covered topics are still fair game for the CCIE qualifying written exam and the book still retains all of its original value.  There are a lot of topics which are on the test which are not in Doyle‘«÷s books, but if you look at the CCIE blueprint, the topics covered in the books map exactly to the topics in the IP Routing & IP Multicast sections of the blueprint.  You can‘«÷t treat any book as being a one stop shop for CCIE preparation.  That‘«÷s impossible.  The book would be the size of my desk.  I would actually contend that, on the next rewrite, they should break the 2 volume set into 3 volumes, one for the interior protocols, one for BGP by itself, and one for all of the advanced routing issues and multicast.  This would make the volumes a bit less daunting and also somewhat easier to carry.

But, carry-ability issues aside, this is a very good book.  It takes all of the topics to the degree of depth which you would expect for a CCIE-level book and explains things in a way that doesn‘«÷t lose the reader.  I had to work to keep the examples straight in my head, but no one said becoming a CCIE was easy.  On the downside, the book contains no disc.  This is unfortunate, because I always like to have the book on PDF.  Also, it would be nice to have the review questions and answers put into a question bank.  The book is also missing the ‘«£Do I Know This Already‘«ō section for each chapter, which is present in all of Cisco Press‘«÷ certification guides.  I realize that this is probably due to the fact that this is more of a desk reference / learning book than an official certification guide.  However, as someone who‘«÷s studying for an exam, I always like as many free practice questions as I can get.

I give Routing TCP/IP Volume 1 a 5 on my 5 ping rating scale and look forward to reading Volume 2.  
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2004, 12:09:32 PM »

I have both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and find them both invaluable reference books.  The information they contain is essential to anyone hoping to pass the CCIE lab.
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