Ethernet: The Definitive Guide
By Charles E. Spurgeon
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2000
Pages: 524

Ethernet is a core networking technology used by every high tech business. While the basic protocols have changed little, new options such as Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet have increased the complexity of the topic.

Ethernet has been the flavor of choice for networking administrators since the early 1980s because of its ease of use and scalability. Written by one of the foremost experts on Ethernet standards and configuration, Charles E. Spurgeon, Ethernet: The Definitive Guide includes everything you need to know to set up and maintain an Ethernet network.

Ethernet: The Definitive Guide teaches you everything you need to know about the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard and its protocols. The book is logically separated into five parts:

  • Introduction to Ethernet provides a tour of basic Ethernet theory and operation, including a description of Ethernet frames, operation of the Media Access Control (MAC) protocol, full-duplex mode and auto-negotiation.
  • Ethernet Media Systems is the heart of the book. This sectionof Ethernet: The Definitive Guide shows you how to build media-specific Ethernet networks, from a basic 10BASE-T Ethernet offering 10 Mbps over twisted-pair cables, to an advanced 1000BASE-X Gigabit Ethernet, providing up to 1 Gbps of data transfer over fiber optic cables.
  • Building Your Ethernet System teaches you how to build twisted-pair and fiber optic media segments, as well as how to build your Ethernet using repeaters and hubs.
  • Performance and Troubleshooting is divided into two chapters. The first describes both the performance of a given Ethernet channel, as well as the performance of the entire network system. The second includes a tutorial on troubleshooting techniques and describes the kinds of problems network administrators are likely to encounter.



The last part of the book includes a complete glossary of terms used throughout the book, a resource list, descriptions of thick and thin coax-based Ethernet systems, a guide to AUI equipment installation and configuration, and a listing of troubleshooting numbers.

This book is the definitive guide for anyone wanting to build a scalable local area network (LAN) using Ethernet.

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5.0

Ethernet: All about the Physical Layer

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Ethernet: The Definitive Guide:

Although aging, this book is a great description of Ethernet from the original 10Mbs thick cabling thorugh the gigabit standards. It covers copper and fiber media standards, connectors, auto-negotiation, switches, frame layout and a lot more.

The book deals with layers 1 and 2 of the OSI reference model. It contains only passing references to things like RIP, OSPF, SNMP, IP, etc. as these items aren't Ethernet. For details on layers 3, 4, and 5 of the OSI reference model, may I recommend Douglas E. Comer's "Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architectures", volume 1.

(2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Ethernet: All about the Physical Layer

By Duffy

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Ethernet: The Definitive Guide:

To be honest the title page lead me to believe that designing and managing local area networks would actually involve more than what the book covered.

For instance, I expected something about RIP or OSPF routing, instead you get a simple pargraph or two about spanning trees and nothing of substance about SNMP. Hardly, the comprehensive book I thought it would be.

Where the book does shine is about the exhaustive detail about the various connectors, and differences in the 802.3 standards for ethernet, fast ethernet, gigabit ethernet and the subsets of cabling standards.

With that in mind, the book is very comprehensive about the ethernet standard; but the same cannot be said of the management techniques that are above the physical layer.

 
5.0

Ethernet: The Definitive Guide Review

By Charles Rowe

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Ethernet: The Definitive Guide:

Have you ever wondered how your own home network works? Or are you responsible for deploying a network for some Fortune 500 company? Maybe you're just somewhere in between. No matter, since this book is, like it's title states, a 'definitive' guide on the topic of Ethernet networking.

The book starts off with a history of how Ethernet evolved, from it's roots at Xerox PARC, and quickly moves on to the IEEE specifications used today. This book is relatively dry reading for most readers for the first few chapters at least, since a very in-depth presentation of the basic Ethernet system is given, as well as the ensuing chapters that look at each system in more detail (ie, 10, 100, and 1000 Megabit Ethernet). One point that struck me as rather odd is the over-emphasis that the author seems to place on fiber optic networks, as though fiber-optic networks are the best thing since sliced bread. Also absent is any mention of wireless Ethernet, although that can pretty much be explained by the age of the book (More than 3 years at the time this review was written).

The rest of the book is more or less devoted to network implementation, covering topics ranging from different cabling systems, all the way down to how to design and implement whatever size network is needed. Hubs, repeaters, routers, and other signaling components are also covered, discussing the functions, uses, and when/when not to use a particular device. Troubleshooting and Ethernet network performance is also covered, though most of the testing tools they cover are well beyond the budget of your average home user.

All in all, 'Ethenet: The Definitive Guide' is a good read for just about anyone who is involved in Ethernet networking, or even just anyone who is more than curious about the topic. Despite it's age, the information given is very thorough, and is still a very valuable reference because of that.

 
4.0

Ethernet: The Definitive Guide Review

By Tarak J. Robbana

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Ethernet: The Definitive Guide:

This, along with Rich Seifert's "The Switch Book" are everything that I will ever need. Learning how "auto-negotiation" actually works was invaluable to me.

The trobleshooting section is top notch as well.

I still havent read this book entirely from cover to cover but I do use it as a reference almost daily.

 
5.0

Ethernet: The Definitive Guide Review

By Robert Stinnett, CCP

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Ethernet: The Definitive Guide:

Networking your home? Perhaps your are preparing to network a Fortune 500 company? Maybe you just want to get your computer talking to your wifes downstairs. In any fashion, O'Reilly's "Ethernet: The Definitive Guide" is one of the best networking reference books I have purchased in quite some time.

The author explains everything, from what Ethernet is all the way up to installation and troubleshooting. The comprehensive section on understanding how to plan for your network will save you time and

headaches when it comes to implementing and supporting your network.

One of the best features of the book, by far, is the explanation and breakdown of Ethernet/Networking terms. Do you know what a Fiber Optic Loss Budget is? How about 10Base5 Signal Encoding? The author does a terrific job of explaining, with great detail, terminology and networking concepts that even the most experienced network administrator may sometimes have trouble with.

Performance issues are covered in great detail, along with troubleshooting an existing network. Through examples, you will be able to target bottlenecks in your existing setup, and diagnose failure issues with ease. I found it a great tool as I was attempting to find out why I had a high packet collision rate after a recent network card change in my Linux box.

Even those who are writing network-aware software may find this book a goldmine of information. The technical explanation of the MAC protocol as well as the breakdown of information that is flowing over the network was of great value to me when I was attempting to write a device driver for a network card under BeOS.

This book is geared heavily towards those who support and maintain networks for a living. However, there are many helpful examples and tips that will make this a great reference even for those who are looking to network their homes. From the pre-planning stage, to purchasing the right equipment, this book is a definitive guide to Ethernet networking.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Ethernet: The Definitive Guide Review

By Peter Dobratz

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Ethernet: The Definitive Guide:

Recently, I decided to install an ethernet in my home. I decided to get this book for some in depth information on setting up a network. It is definately a valuable resource for anyone setting up an ethernet. Most people can set up an ethernet without the knowledge contained in this book, but if you want to have the knowledge to tune and troubleshoot your ethernet with confidence, this is the book for you. Options for 10 Mbit through Gigabit are discussed including hubs, switches, cabling and everything you need to know to get the hardware level working correctly.

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