Thursday, March 12, 2009

Internet Routing Architectures (2nd Edition) (Networking Technology)

Internet Routing Architectures (2nd Edition) (Networking Technology)Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) does exactly what its name implies--it routes traffic efficiently from its origin on one network to its destination on another. Most typically, it's the protocol that provides a private network with Internet connectivity. Internet Routing Architectures is an authoritative text on BGP in theory and practice, covering everything from good design of BGP-based internetworks to actual implementation of those internetworks on Cisco Systems routers. This second edition includes more information than its predecessor on BGP-4; other improvements are updates rather than major additions or revisions. You will appreciate having this book on hand if your job has to do with optimizing traffic under BGP, or if you're preparing for one of the Cisco certification exams.

Sam Halabi--a respected authority on Cisco routers--discusses addressing schemes and the ways in which routing protocols operate within those schemes. The general information serves mainly to set the stage for BGP, which Halabi explains lucidly in theory before getting into design issues and, finally, implementation via router configuration. The book presents practical situations ("Multihoming to a Single Provider," for example, which is subsequently broken down into sub-scenarios about how the multiple connections are used) and steps through the design decisions associated with them. It's also big on diagrams and uses one on nearly every other page to drive home points. The result: this book earns its cover price as a tutorial and as a reference. --David Wall

Topics covered: Means of connecting one network to another, especially by means of Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4) on Cisco Systems routers. There's coverage of addressing and routing-protocol generalities, as well as of BGP tuning for routing inside and outside autonomous systems. Design decisions are a big part of this book's scope.

Customer Review: Classic BGP and Internet Architecture

This is a really great book on BGP and Internet Architecture. The explanation of BGP at the protocol level is great. More importantly though is its explanation and examples of using eBGP / iBGP with an IGP.

I've heard it criticized as being dated and too Cisco specific. Though it is Cisco specific, it's still very relevant. I would start with this book and read past NANOG presentations on introductory BGP if I wanted to learn how the Internet works.

Customer Review: A great BGP book, but not the first book for the CCIE

I have always felt that I am part of the small minority that just does not see the beauty of this book if studying for the CCIE. I have, for years, read other's comments on the how Halabi's "Internet Routing Arch" is a `must have', yet I still have not found a similar reason why. While I do feel that the book does (probably) the best job at explaining BGP and how to implement BGP in a Cisco-centric world, I have not discovered the value for the CCIE. I would much rather spend my time with CiscoPress's "Routing TCP/IP" Volume 2, by Jeff Doyle and Jennifer DeHaven Carroll than this book.

One item of concern, there is a noticable amount of trivial errors in this book that can lead to disaster if implemented incorrectly. For example:

Page 106 - "...any traffic that has an origin OR destination that does not belong to the local AS." This clearly should be an AND, not OR.

Page 315 - "You can also specify a PREFIX list..." - I believe this should be a filter list, not a prefix list.

And then there are places where the book is too opinionated - for example - page 206 "Many operators choose to filter dynamically learned defaults to avoid situations in which traffic ends up where it is not supposed to be." I do not feel this is true, and can think of multiple times when not filtering the advertised default route may just end up being the worst option. In fact, I do not feel either configuration is the right configuration to admit or condone, as the wrong configuration can have disastrous effects.

I still have to give this book 4 stars - simply because of it's utilitarian value and overwhelming sense of loyalty given to this book by others. But I don't reach for this book too often.

I give this book 4 pings out of 5:

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