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Book details of 'Virtual Private Networking: A View From the Trenches'

Cover of Virtual Private Networking: A View From the Trenches
TitleVirtual Private Networking: A View From the Trenches
Author(s)Bruce Perlmutter, Jonathan Zarkower, Jonathan L. Zarkower
PublishedNovember 1999
PublisherPrentice Hall PTR
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Score: score: 3.0 ***--  Vote for this book

The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Virtual Private Networking: A View From the Trenches':

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The aim of the authors is to make this book different from others in the Virtual Private Network (VPN) field. In this they have, to a certain extent, succeeded. The book does not merely rehash old approaches, analogies, and illustrations. While this determined novelty does not always work, and sometimes gives the book a ragged feel, there is a freshness to it that is engaging. Perlmutter and Zarkower also wanted to make the book fun: they don't always succeed, although their humour remains light throughout, and never descends into the heavy sarcasm that befalls most who insist on larding their books with jokes. The levity is amusing, but it isn't really illustrative. The text also aims at a rather unique audience. As well as presenting the concepts to business people needing a basic understanding, the material emphasizes the ability of the Internet Service Provider (ISP), and particularly the small one, to offer VPN technology as a value added service. This means that the book looks at both sides of the picture, and the view thus generated is both interesting and useful. Chapter one offers a good introduction to the basic concepts. The evolution of networking adds a depth of understanding to this prelude in chapter two. (I would note that the authors suggest cable modems and Digital Subscriber Line [DSL] technologies can be used in conjunction with VPNs in order to create a high speed connection between offices. It should be pointed out that both cable systems and the most common form of DSL have an inherent asymmetry of bandwidth that prevents this usage.) The business case for VPNs is made carefully and realistically in chapter three. Tunneling is discussed in chapter four, although some ends are left loose. An example of a problem with encapsulating Appletalk over PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol) seems to beg the question of whether the application can be made to work. Chapter five is not simply a list of available products, but an outline of the types of VPN components and devices that can be used. Considerations to be made when choosing, and getting ready for, a VPN are brought forward in chapter six, while the ways that ISPs can offer service are examined in chapter seven. Chapter sight closes off with a realistic look at new technologies that will soon be affecting VPN decisions. Within the book there are a number of boxed items. These are variously scenarios, sidebars, comments, or other material entirely, and it isn't always clear which they are intended to be. Many of the scenarios are extremely short, and really don't explain anything. These materials should not necessarily have been excluded, but more thought could have been given to their purpose, and whether or not they fulfilled it. This is a practical and realistic guide to the reasons for, and construction of, a Virtual Private Network. Users (and particularly small to medium business users) and ISPs alike will benefit from the explanations herein. copyright Robert M. Slade, 2000

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