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Book Review - IP Routing

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 4:43 pm    Post subject: Book Review - IP Routing Reply with quote

IP Routing

Author(s): Ravi Malhotra
Publisher: O’Reilly
Book Specifications: Soft-Cover, 219 pages
Category: Routing Protocols
User Level: Intermediate knowledge of TCP/IP
Suggested Publisher Price: $34.95 USA/ $52.95 CAN/ £24.24 Net UK (inc of VAT)
ISBN: 0-596-00275-0
Amazon.co.uk: IP Routing
Amazon.com: IP Routing

Info from Back: "As a delivery vehicle for email, web pages, text, audio, and video, the global IP network is inspiring and intimidating in its vigor and resilience. While we could discuss at length the reasons for its vigor, the resilience of this network is in large part due to IP routing.”


How the web actually communicates is by, and large a mystery to most everyone. What even some educated users don’t know however is that there are both routed, and routing protocols. This book deals solely with routing protocols such as RIP, IGRP, OSPF, and BGP-4 among others. The sole purpose for these protocols is for the communication of routers both within, and without an autonomous system. Though the topic can seem very dense, and incomprehensible at first this key area of networking is invaluable knowledge for one to gain. This book is aimed towards anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of how routers work, and communicate with each other. In essence anyone from the system administrator to the home user can benefit from reading this book.

Content & Overview

Covered in a good granular level of detail are both interior gateways protocols such as RIP, and OSPF as well as exterior gateway protocols like BGP. All of the covered protocols are fairly complicated, and get a good quick overview of their various complexities. To whit, RIP-2 will be discussed in relation to getting it running, its packet format, RIP-1 and RIP-2 compatibility issues among others area’s of interest for this Interior Gateway Protocol. A quick breakdown of the chapters reads as follows;

Chapter 1. Starting Simple
Chapter 2. Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
Chapter 3. Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (IGRP)
Chapter 4. Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP)
Chapter 5. Routing Information Protocol Version 2 (RIP-2)
Chapter 6. Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
Chapter 7. Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4
Chapter 8. Administrative Controls

Shown for each protocol is how to get it running, which is followed by how it works. After these area’s have been covered the nitty gritty is explored. By that I mean how to optimize the actual protocol itself. To further elaborate, this is done by showing how to speed up convergence in IGRP or by fine tuning RIP itself. Each chapter dealing with the protocols noted above are dealt with generally in the same way.

Style and Detail

One of the book’s strongest points in my opinion is in its writing style, and attention to detail. The author has done an excellent job of using visual cues such as diagrams, and showing a good amount of command line usage to help reinforce the subject matter. Further more the command line usage examples are geared towards Cisco router products, which makes perfect sense to me, as they are the de-facto leader in routers worldwide. This gives the reader some concrete examples which they can use, and or experiment with. Included also in the book are some actual examples of the routing packet itself showing the internal fields. This greatly helps the reader to visualize what the packet itself looks like.


Overall the book is an excellent resource for someone looking to gain a deeper understanding of how routing protocols work. To the book, as well as the authors credit both Interior and Exterior routing protocols are covered. This gives the book a more balanced approached to this topic. The one area that I would like to have seen much more of is actual examples of each routing protocol as they appeared “on the wire”. This could have been shown with an included blow by blow breakdown of each field. It would have been an excellent wrap up for the information just covered, and fitted nicely on a CD. Beyond that the book is very much recommended to the stated audience of anyone from system administrators to the savvy home user.

This book gets an SFDC 8/10 from me

Keywords for this post: IP Routing

This review is copyright 2003 by the author and Security-Forums Dot Com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or Security-Forums Dot Com.
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Joined: 05 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like a book I could buy.
But then all O'Reilly books are damn great.
To bad my wallet don't like it...
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Joined: 20 Oct 2003
Posts: 1
Location: Minnesota, USA


PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at the Safari offering from OReilly. They have full versions of all of their books and all of a bunch of other publisher's books online.

This is cool cause you can do searches and whatnot as well as not having to worry about outdated books or buying a bunch of books for one little thing. Pretty cool stuff. Plus it doesn't cost as much as buying the books although it is a monthly cost so it does add up.

Oh and just to note I don't work for them nor do I own stock or anything so this isn't and advertisement or anything.

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