Ethernet Switches
An Introduction to Network Design with Switches
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2013
Pages: 80

If you’re ready to build a large network system, this handy excerpt from Ethernet: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition gets you up to speed on a basic building block: Ethernet switches. Whether you’re working on an enterprise or campus network, data center, or Internet service provider network, you’ll learn how Ethernet switches function and how they’re used in network designs.

This brief tutorial also provides an overview of the most important features found in switches, from the basics to more advanced features found in higher-cost and specialized switches.

  • Get an overview of basic switch operation, the spanning tree protocol, and switch performance issues
  • Learn about switch management and some of the most widely used switch features
  • Discover how a hierarchical design can help maintain stable network operations
  • Delve into special-purpose switches, such as multi-layer, access, stacking, and wireless access-point switches
  • Learn about advanced switch features designed for specific networking environments
  • Dive deeper into switches, with a list of protocol and package documentation
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A Primer for Beginners

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from Greater New York

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  • Concise


  • Not comprehensive enough
  • Too basic

Best Uses

  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Ethernet Switches:

Ethernet Switches
Authored by Charles E. Spurgeon and Joann Zimmerman
Published by O'Reilly Media
Book Review by Virginia Benedict

Do not expect to gain in-depth knowledge about Networks, Network Protocols, or Networking Standards for Switching and Routing packets and frames. However, as a beginner you can expect to be introduced to the very basics of Ethernet switching. Definitely, this sixty-six page divided into four chapters is a Primer or perhaps even a pocket guide for beginners. Some of these chapters are presented with basic illustrations

A final fifth chapter briefly touches on what the authors term "advanced switch features" such as traffic flow monitoring, sFlow, and Netflow, and PoE, The authors present the novice a good solid superficial glance at the roles switches serve in a network and how they differ from a router. They list the various types of switches and the purpose of each type.

The book seems to have been designed to get the appetite of an apprentice going. While switches play a critically central role in any network, routers are just as important and I do not get this message from this work.

At the end of the book, the authors provide an Appendix where they list but not cite some resources for additional reading. They also offer a brief glossary of related terms and acronyms.

If you are studying for your CCENT and would like to have a very simple overview, this book can serve as extra curriculum reading.

This book can be used as a pocket guide for beginners going for their CCENT

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