IP Addressing Fundamentals book review

Author: Mark A Sportack ISBN:1587050676 Publisher: Cisco Press

When I first received IP Addressing Fundamentals my first reaction was “340 pages of hard back book to explain subnetting?” but I’m happy to report the books title is a little misleading; it also covers a number of related topics such as multi-cast, DNS and NAT in a clear, accurate and unfortunately overly dry style.

The book itself is broken in to five parts:

  • "Introduction to IP Addressing" which explains binary math before covering fixed length and variable length subnet masks.
  • "The Evolution of IPv4", a look at the threat of IP address depletion, the actions taken by the IETF and some of the potential solutions such as CIDR, private addresses and NAT.
  • "Advanced IP Topics", one of the weaker sections, covers DNS and multi-casting. The multi-casting section is an informative read, the DNS section is very average and feels out of place to me.
  • "Strategies for Network Stability, Scalability and Performance" is a mix bag of topics, from MAC lookups to low level DNS details through basic routing and in to managing your address space this section is either going to be a godsend or a complete waste of time depending on your exact knowledge. While all the topics are explained in easy to follow English their coverage is enough to whet your appetite and point out any holes in your knowledge.
  • The concluding part consists of a single chapter on IPv6. While this very high level overview covers some of the general principles it isn't a stunning addition to an already too long book and could be dropped without many people noting its omission.

While the topic itself, and this book in general, is very dry its coverage is actually quite broad considering the books title. Rather than just serving as a primer to IP addressing and subnetting it’s an above average look at many of the core network technologies that people new to networking need to be aware of.

A solid look at IP addressing and its related topics but not something to read while tired. 510