Cisco Networking Essentials, 2nd Edition
There will always be a market for books designed to present and review certification-level topics to those who are already familiar with the knowledge required to understand those topics. In today’s economic times, however, there is a whole new breed of students who are either taking classes or operating in a self-study capacity who do not have this prerequisite knowledge and may not even realize this as they attempt to tackle certification-level classes and books.
I have seen these students in my classes over the years. They are no less intelligent or motivated than the students who have more background and experience. But at the pace at which these books and classes must move to cover all the material, they soon find themselves struggling. Some even give up entirely.
This book is designed to cover all of the basics required to really understand routing and switching, providing the required amount of time to digest the fundamentals and then moving on to actually setting up and configuring the routers and switches and seeing them operate. It does not attempt to cover every bell and whistle that these devices offer, nor does it cover every topic that is on a Cisco CCENT exam. What it does do is provide all of the basic network information from a Cisco perspective.
The student who reads this book and works through these exercises or the student who takes a class using this book as its text will come away ready in every way to tackle books and classes targeted for exam prep for the CCNA. That is the goal of this book and was our guiding principle throughout its creation.
Who Should Read This Book
This book is designed for anyone wishing to gain a basic understanding of how networks operate and how Cisco devices in particular fulfill their roles in the process. This includes:
- Those who have been away from the IT industry for some time and are reentering the field
- Career changers with no previous experience
- Students who have struggled with certification-level prep materials
- Students who have had success with certification-level prep materials but came away from the experience with a shallow understanding of the core foundational knowledge
Here is a glance at what’s in each chapter.
- Chapter 1, “Networks,” describes network components, classifies LANs and WANs by function, and compares and contrasts peer-to-peer and client-server networks.
- Chapter 2, “The OSI Model,” explains the purpose of reference models, introduces the layers of the OSI model, and describes how the layers relate to the encapsulation process.
- Chapter 3, “TCP/IP,” explains the TCP/IP reference model, compares it to the OSI model, and describes the function of the four layers of the model.
- Chapter 4, “Protocols,” describes the function of protocols in networking and surveys various protocols that operate at each layer of the TCP/IP model.
- Chapter 5, “Physical and Logical Topologies,” defines the meaning of a topology in networking and describes the main physical and logical topologies.
- Chapter 6, “Numbering Systems,” explains the main numbering systems of importance in networking, the binary and hexadecimal systems, and how they are converted to and from the decimal system.
- Chapter 7, “Classful IP Addressing,” explains the basics of IP addressing, identifies the types of IP addresses, introduces network troubleshooting tools, and describes the use of DHCP to automate the IP configuration process.
- Chapter 8, “Classless IP Addressing,” points out the shortcomings of classful IP addressing, explains the benefits of classless subnetting, and introduces the components of CIDR.
- Chapter 9, “Media,” begins with a brief description of media types, then explains cable behaviors and characteristics, and ends with a survey of the types of cables and their proper use.
- Chapter 10, “Network Devices,” describes the function of the various devices found in a network and explains design principles guiding their placement.
- Chapter 11, “LAN Operations,” explains both the routing and the switching process and describes how they fit together in end-to-end communication.
- Chapter 12, “Managing the Cisco IOS,” introduces the components of the Cisco operating system, describes the boot process of a router or switch, and describes how to navigate the command-line interface.
- Chapter 13, “Configuring Routers,” explains how to get a router operational, including cabling the router, logging into the IOS, securing the router, and configuring its interfaces.
- Chapter 14, “Configuring Switches,” explains how to get a switch operational, including cabling the switch, logging into the IOS, securing the switch, configuring its switch ports, and creating and managing VLANs.
- Chapter 15, “Configuring Static Routing,” explains how routes are configured and verified at the CLI and how to configure inter-VLAN routing.
- Chapter 16, “Configuring Dynamic Routing,” introduces how dynamic routing functions, explains the types of routing protocols, and describes how to configure an example of each.
- Chapter 17, “Device Security,” describes the security features available in Cisco devices and the issues those features address. It also covers the implementation of these features.
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