Cisco CCIE All-in-One Study Guide (All-In-One Certification)

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9780071356763: Cisco CCIE All-in-One Study Guide (All-In-One Certification)

-- Growing market -- The Cisco Certification market is exploding with over 100,000 CCIE candidates expected in 1999. Only 33% of the candidates pass the test the first time. The exam consists of a 100 question written test and a grueling two-day hands-on exam.
-- Build on success -- The Cisco CCIE All-In-One Exam Guide by Giles (0-07-913728-8) sold over 25,000 copies in less than four months. Now this book is revised and updated with all new information and quality checked by the McGraw-Hill Technical Expert Reviewing Panel.
-- Popularity of the CCIE -- The CCIE certification is ranked third as far as value and importance by Computer User Magazine (July 1999). The average salary ranges between $35,000 and $80,000 annually. They also average that a candidate
-- What's New? -- This best-selling book is updated and revised to reflect Cisco's new CCIE Exam, including features such as:
-- A quality check by the McGraw-Hill Technical Expert Reviewing Panel
-- Updated and revised information to include new CCIE exam requirements such as WAN, remote connectivity, and voice and data material.
-- New Cisco implementations and design examples
-- Hundreds of new study guide questions and answers
-- An interactive CD with simulated testing & scenario based configurations

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Product Description:

The Cisco certification market is exploding with over 100,000 CCIE candidates expected in 1999. The exam consists of a written test and a two-day, hands-on exam. This study guide is intended to help candidates pass the two-day exam.

Review:

The CCIE All-In-One Study Guide would actually be a fairly decent book, if its title was not quite so overwhelming in its promises--because frankly, it's not an All-In-One book. Any book that says it'll steer you through the infamously tough waters of the CCIE exam, then doesn't provide a lick of information on routing commands, is obviously being a bit hopeful. A more appropriate title might be "The Absolutely In-Depthest Book On Networking Protocols You Could Ever Want", but not only would that probably not fit on the cover, but it really wouldn't sell as well.

What this book is, is a fairly intense, step-by-step walk through the tiniest portions of networking. Most books that you'll find will tell you that "Ethernet works by broadcasting frames across a cable, and every computer checks the frame to see if it's theirs, and if it is they pick it up"; the CCIE AIO not only goes through the exact byte-sequence with which Ethernet broadcasts onto the cable, but gives flowcharts that tell you, in excruciating detail, how it checks the write, how the computer knows when a frame is ended, whether it's theirs, and how it checks to see if it's too small. A wealth of detail will flood you, the reader.

Which is a problem with the guide: It strives to be comprehensive, and it is. If you are the sort of person who learns best by thoroughly immersing yourself in the underpinnings of a system, then this is your dream--the chapter on TCP/IP architecture in particular is extremely thorough and worthwhile. In terms of actually getting as close to a bit-level understanding of how a computer processes the various protocols and routing commands, this book is probably unparalleled.

People have said that the Guide is poorly written--but actually, the writing is actually a strong point, with clear sentences walking you with ease through some fairly niggling topics. What it lacks is organisation: Even within the chapter, it sometimes leaps spontaneously from topic to topic, requiring a bit of criss-crossing on your part. One wishes for a strictly chronological walkthrough from start to finish on how the computer thinks, and it's not always there. There isn't that much on troubleshooting, either, but the book seems to assume that once you understand how everything works it will naturally follow that you know how it can break down ... which is not unreasonable, truthfully.

The questions are plentiful--over a thousand--but tend to err on the simple side for the CCIE, with an emphasis on definitions, setting parameters, and True/False questions and not troubleshooting problems (though they do exist). Unfortunately, the answers section is almost completely useless--if you chose the wrong answer, there is generally not any form of explanation of why something is right. You just get a blunt "B and C are the correct answers," without much else. (To be fair, however, there are some well-explained answers, about one out of every seven or so, but they're the exception rather than the norm.)

Essentially, this is not so much a total study guide, but a very detailed look at a topic that CCIE candidates should know inside and out. In that sense, this is an invaluable guide marred by a few technical flaws and some poor organisation. And most importantly, the title's a bit of hyperbole, which causes some letdown. But if you understand that this book will get you a long ways towards getting the certification without quite being the all-in-one stop it promises, you'll get your money's worth. --William Steinmetz, amazon.com

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