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Cisco Cookbook Kevin Dooley and Ian J Brown
Published by O'Reilly and Associates
908 pages
£ 38.95
Published: July 2003
reviewed by Raza Rizvi
   in the March 2004 issue (pdf), (html)

Now I like books, and I like Cisco routers. So this book had me nervous with anticipation. I didn't know whether it would be regurgitation of the excellent Cisco website (like some of the Cisco Press books) or whether it would add something to all the Cisco IOS and router technology books I already had.

I was stunned. This is a great work, full of config snippets, router output and sensible explanations (note this is for router IOS and is not applicable to Catalyst Switches or PIX firewalls). Like any cookbook, you can dive in anywhere, pick off what you want, and then sit back and see the results.

The authors have picked 23 popular topics and drilled down to the sweet essence of each with sensible subsections set out in the same problem / solution / discussion / see also format.

Each topic -- and you can see this online at: starts with a concise and accurate summary to preface the scenarios that follow.

I spent a great deal of time reviewing this book. I used it as it was intended - as a first stop in the answer to a question, I also used it as an aid memoir, and I also read whole topics from start to finish. In each case I found what I needed and only what I needed.

Try as I might, I couldn't find anything that was wrong or explained badly, and I am a critical person (okay if you push I would say DSLw will fall on deaf ears in the UK). I thoroughly recommend this book to people who want to do more with their Cisco routers, and especially to those who support networks professionally. It goes without saying that this book will be of great use to those studying for Cisco certifications to CCNP level with topics on the four main routing protocols, queuing, ACLs, and HSRP.

It even explains step by step tunnels and VPNs without blinding the reader with science -- fantastic!

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