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Posted: 2003-10-02

Category: Book reviews

Walter Goralski - Juniper and Cisco Routing

There are many books about internet protocols or routing protocols themselves, as well as about specific implementations, such as Cisco routers. As the title implies, Walter Goralski's book Juniper and Cisco Routing: Policy and Protocols for Multivendor IP Networks, discusses both the protocols themselves and two major router vendors' implementations.

The first part of the book is an introduction to the internet, the TCP/IP protocol, IP routing, as well as Cisco and Juniper routers and their configuration. The book then moves on to describing various routing protocols: RIP, OSPF, IS-IS, and BGP. The final part of the book is about routing policies, both for internal routing protocols (RIP, OSPF and IS-IS) and the exterior routing protocol BGP.

All the theory chapters are very detailed. For example, each protocol is described down to the individual bits in the packet formats. After each theory chapter, a practical chapter shows how to configure the protocol or concept on Cisco and Juniper routers. These practical chapters are structured like lab experiments with a network consisting of mixed Cisco and Juniper routers. One step at a time, the features of the protocol or policy are implemented in the network.

The part of the book about routing policies is interesting as it shows some real world applications of routing policies in networks containing both Juniper and Cisco routers, including some pitfalls one should be aware of in these situations. Again, this part is structured with chapter covering the policies themselves followed by lab experiments showing how they can be implemented in heterogenous networks.

Unfortunately, there are some noticeable typos and mistakes here and there. Also, in some parts, the author shows a bias towards Juniper, which is no surprise considering he is an employee of Juniper Networks.

The book attempts to be too much to too many people. It's both a tutorial and a reference, both an introduction to routing protocols as well as a book about advanced routing policies. Nevertheless, if your network has both Cisco and Juniper routers, or you are planning on transitioning from one to the other, you might find this book useful.

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