IT Book Corner: Data communication series and networking

The new Data Communication Series of technical books from CRC Press/Routeledge promises to be a welcome addition to networking professionals working in enterprise environments. I recently had a chance to review several of the new titles in this series and share my observations below on their technical depth, breadth of scope, and usefulness to IT professionals.

it book corner data communicationsCampus Network Architectures and Technologies by CRC Press examines the many challenges faced by today’s campus networks as they undergo the digital transformation being embraced by the computing and networking industries currently happening. Demands for ubiquitous connectivity, unbreakable security, intelligent automation, and simple user experience make building, administering, and maintaining campus networks more difficult than ever for network architects and operators. The book starts by examining the history and different approaches to campus networking and then focuses on such topics as service layering, including underlay, overlay, and campus layer networks; broadband wired and wireless networks including IoT device networking; virtual network architectures, especially virtual extensible LAN (VXLAN), which I found to be an excellent treatment of the subject; physical network automation technologies such as device plug-and-play, automatic route configuration and mapping between virtual networks and resources; and many other important topics relating to large-scale campus networking. There is a good emphasis on securing campus networks in Chapter 8 of the book, and I found the coverage of basic cybersecurity concepts and technologies there helpful. The book concludes with chapters focusing on best practice design methodologies behind planning and deploying campus networks and then goes into some real-world examples drawn from the experience of a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. Recommended reading for enterprise networking professionals and IT decision-makers.

it book corner data communicationsEnterprise Wireless Local Area Network Architectures and Technologies by CRC Press is another welcome addition to the growing stable of technical books on WLAN technologies and how to plan, deploy, maintain and troubleshoot these networks. Probably no technology has become more ubiquitous in recent years than wireless networking. The first thing we often do when we go to a coffee shop, hotel, or airport is to find out whether they have WiFi so we can check our mail and browse the net without having to incur cellular charges on our phones or tablets. It’s hard to find a seat at coffee shops nowadays as people sitting at them are glued to their laptops watching the latest YouTube influencer or catching up on their office work. And you’ll definitely need a few cups of coffee if you want to plow through this book as it goes quite deep into today’s WLAN technologies. After a brief overview of the history of wireless networking and the various challenges faced in implementing WLANs, the book goes back. It looks at the basics of wireless networking and the key communications technologies that underlie it. 802.11 standards are examined and compared, with a special focus on high-efficiency 802.11ax, which is sometimes called WLAN (HEW) or WiFi 6 and is the successor to the widely deployed 802.11ac. The performance of 802.11ax is examined in various environments, and the impact of deploying it in different industries is examined. A useful chapter for networking professionals from a practical point of view is Chapter 3, which focuses on key factors that can affect WLAN performance. A solid chapter on WLAN security is also present and adds value to the book by describing various attacks and countermeasures. The book concludes with chapters on WLAN positioning, enterprise WLAN network planning and design, and monitoring. A good book for every WLAN/WiFi professional to have at hand though you only may end up reading portions of several chapters depending on your experience and needs in this area.

it book corner data communicationsSoftware-Defined Wide Area Network Architectures and Technologies by CRC Press is the third and final title in this new series of books that I had a chance to examine. This book examines in detail the concepts, technologies, deployment, and operation of software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), a subject we’ve covered many times in various articles here on TechGenix. SD-WAN has been touted as the future of enterprise networking and is poised to revolutionize it, similar to how host virtualization earlier revolutionized the field of server computing. SD-WAN adds abstraction to networks by separating the control and forwarding plane of the network through network virtualization and centralizing the control plane for easier network management. There are different ways of understanding and interpreting the fundamental characteristics of what can be called SD-WAN, and the book does good justice by examining many of these. After examining history and basic concepts, the authors build an understanding of SD-WAN, beginning with sites and site interconnection, including a good section on network orchestration and automation which I found illuminating. The challenges of securing SD-WAN environments are given proper consideration. The topic of service security in site-to-site, site-to-Internet, and site-to-cloud scenarios is laid out clearly and examined. The book concludes by summarizing various SD-WAN best practices, examining SD-WAN application scenarios in different industry sectors, describing SD-WAN components from a major vendor, and examining the future outlook for SD-WAN technologies. Whether you’re just trying to get your head around what SD-WAN means or are already working in an SD-WAN environment and want to learn more about the technology, this book is a good one for you to get a hold of.

Still have more time for reading? Check out our other IT Book Corners here and here.

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