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  1. #1
    Yottabyte Poster tripwire45's Avatar
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    Book Review: Network Management Fundamentals

    Network Management Fundamentals

    Author: Alexander Clemm
    Format: Paperback, 552 pages
    Publisher: Cisco Press; 1st edition (November 29, 2006)
    ISBN: 1587201372

    Review by James Pyles
    November 30, 2006

    This book is not what you might expect from a Cisco Press title. If you are looking for the config register setting in a password recovery procedure or want to find out what happens to a data-link frame when its received on a router interface, don't bother with this book. This is not a prep guide for the CCNA, CCNP, or any other Cisco certification. If you don't know what show startup-config or show ip ospf database router mean, find another book. Alexander Clemm's text has nothing to do with those details.

    Take your hands away from your laptop and remove the serial cable connecting it to the router. Take one giant step back from the routers and switches. You are not going to be working at that level today. Instead, you're going to be taking in the "big picture". You are not going to learn about how to manage a network one switch or router at a time...you are going to learn how to manage the network...the whole thing...at the enterprise level. That's what Alexander Clemm has written his book to do.

    "Network Management Fundamentals" tackles the subject from a variety of directions including the role and use of management tools, designing management reference models, management organization, service-level agreements and so on. Instead of having a robin's view of breakfast at the level of your backyard lawn, you are going to swoop down on the network like a peregrine falcon screaming to the desert floor and terrific speeds, anticipating a hardy rabbit breakfast (sorry Bugs, ol' pal). You are going to take a look at network management from the outside and try to understand how to care and feed the entire operation including business goals and customer requirements. You are going to see the network on a very, very wide screen.

    This isn't as "sexy" as consoling into a router and hacking a configuration file...it's "sexier".Somebody has to do this sort of job otherwise the network would be the "nest of snakes" all those cables in the server room make it seem to be. Somebody has to be on top of the entire network infrastructure from development to deployment to expansion. This book is written for that "somebody". Perhaps that person is you.

    The front matter of the book states that it is 'intended as an introduction guide to network management for anyone interested in the topic, whether that person has only a basic understanding of networking technology...or whether that person is an experienced networking professional looking to expand his or her core competencies". I don't agree. Dr. Clemm is correct in that this book seems targeted at the high level network or business professional with an investment in successful network management. This book is not for the person with a casual interest in networking. They'd either be lost or bored or both.

    This book is for the business network professional or the network tech who has a goal of becoming a network management professional. According to his bio, Dr. Clemm "is a senior architect with Cisco...and has been involved with integrated management of networked systems and services since 1990". While your personal goal may not be to achieve the same accomplishments, it probably is somewhere beyond pinging a router interface or making crossover cables for the rest of your life. If your goal is to climb the ladder (or if you are already on the climb and have discovered the need for additional support), this is the book you need to be reading.

    You may be in the business of building a data center, developing an accounting and performance plan as part of your network management strategy, or maybe those are only dim goals you have set for yourself in the development of your career. Wherever you may be on that path, I would strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of Clemm's book and take a look at what you're facing or will someday be facing. This book has already organized the plan for you. Save yourself a couple a dozen headaches and start reading.

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    Megabyte Poster Weemez's Avatar
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    The book sounds very interesting Trip and i like your article bud.

    I'm just starting out on the old networking education but have always thought that having an understanding of the bigger picture can only be helpful. Do you think this book or a book of its kind would be advantagous to a beginer like myself or do you think it would fry my brains at this early point!

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    Yottabyte Poster tripwire45's Avatar
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    I think it would give you an idea of what you're shooting for. There are a ton of technical books about managing routers and switches and the like but this is the first one I've seen that is a "how to" for a high-level sysadmin. Go for it.

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    Megabyte Poster Weemez's Avatar
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    I think i will Trip! As you say there are many out there with the internal workings of a network but this seems a little more on the outside.

    Thats me off to google it now. Thanks mate!

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