Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Cisco Press; 1 edition (November 8, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #522,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #49 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Wireless Networks #147 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Networks, Protocols & APIs > LAN #342 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Networks, Protocols & APIs > Networks
I've been in the IT business for over 20 years and have purchased and read literally hundreds of books on various related subjects during that time. This has got to rank among the absolute worst of them. To begin with, I cannot detect even the slightest touch of an editor to this material. Information is repeated incessantly, often with identical wording, and occasionally on the same page. Sentence structure is often somewhere between awkward and outright ungrammatical, especially in the first few chapters. There are also plenty of typos - traffic glows instead of traffic flows was kind of funny, but it gets old after a bit. It gets to the point where at some points I couldn't figure out if the authors were directly contradicting themselves or simply couldn't crank out a coherent sentence. Thank goodness for Google. Between the deeply annoying repetition and obtuse writing style, the book reads like the authors were pressured to hit some specific length or word count and then just padded the pages until they hit it, randomly bludgeoning the English language as they went. If "data deduplication" were applied to this book, its page count would likely drop from about 300 pages to somewhere around 75.This would be something one could, with a great deal of patience, look past if the book in fact imparted the knowledge necessary to (as the title implies) design, deploy, manage, and secure 802.11 wireless networks based on Cisco's Wireless Access Controllers. While I'm normally loathe to deliver spoilers in book reviews, I must in this case warn you that at the end the answer is "no." You will certainly know the names of the various pieces of the puzzle (how could you not after all of the repetition?
There are several nice features about this book. The first is a chapter that gives a high level explanation of 802.11n, which is the latest and highest bandwidth wireless standard. The chapter refers to some 500 pages of the actual formal standard, but only hard core people in the wireless field will ever directly use the standard. Instead, we see that 802.11n can give 100Mb/s wireless bandwidth. Which is pretty fantastic, compared to the earlier 802.11a/b/g standards. So how is this possible? In short, thru the use of multiple antennas for transmission and receiving. The catchy acronym MIMO summarises this idea. The chapter has several neat diagrams that illustrate the antenna configurations. Typically, the diagrams have boxes that say DSP [digital signal processor], that are hooked to the antennas. As you might expect, even if you are not an electrical engineer, these conceal a vast amount of rapid and complex number crunching. The ongoing march of Moore's Law is what enables the building in silicon of these new DSPs that can handle multiple antennas. The chapter also refers to various antenna parameters that can be tweaked, but does not go into any details.Perhaps only a few readers will actually need to adjust those parameters. I suspect that the typical network sysadmin does not do much or know much about antenna design. So the chapter's level of discussion is adequate for most readers.Another chapter looks at Cisco's implementation of wireless LAN security. This is at a more detailed pace than the 802.11n chapter. The algorithms are covered in some depth, and take as their starting point and motivation the inadequacies of Wired Equivalent Privacy [WEP]. (The book cautions you to never use WEP.)The difference between these 2 chapters is telling.