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Book Review - IPv6 Network Administration

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject: Book Review - IPv6 Network Administration Reply with quote

IPv6 Network Administration

Author: Niall Richard Murphy, David Malone
Publisher: O'Reilly
Date Published: March 2005
Book Specifications: Soft cover, 275 pages
Category: Networking
Publisher's Suggested User Level: None
Reviewer's Suggested User Level: IP Network Administrators
Suggested Publisher Price: US$44.95 / CAN$62.95
ISBN: 0-596-00934-8
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596009348
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596009348



From back cover:
For almost ten years now, IPv6 has been two years in the future. That's all changed. The future is now: IPv6 is finally here. It works, it's ready, and it's shipping with your operating system or router today.

This book shows you how to deploy IPv6 on your network. You'll learn how to plan your IPv6 transition, while preserving interoperability with existing networks; how to install (if necessary), configure, test and troubleshoot IPv6; how to handle routing, security and other network management issues; and how to provide standard network services such as email and web access. The book also shows you how to adapt homegrown applications to operate over both IPv4 and IPv6. These are the hurdles that you're most likely to encounter when moving to IPv6. Making the jump doesn't cut you off from older networks it gives you the tools you need to build a truly modern network.


Introduction

IPv6 promises a greatly expanded address space (128-bit addresses, instead of 32-bit in IPv4, the currently used protocol), but it also provides much more. IPv6 was designed to simplify network administration and this book explains the technicalities of IPv6, along with how to operate an IPv6 network and how to connect it to an existing IPv4 network.

Chapter Synopsis & Review Comments

When I picked up this book I expected the content to be highly technical. I was not disappointed. I also hoped, however, that the authors would be able to lighten the mood somewhat when discussing such a deep and dry topic. This they did not manage.

Before I discuss the content of the book, I wish to point out that it serves better as an introduction and reference to IPv6 for those already equipped with intimate knowledge of IPv4; it is not an easy book to read. I will discuss this further in the conclusion to this review.

Chapter 1 looks at the limitations of IPv4, including address space, NAT, security and broadcasting in comparison with multicasting. The topics of Quality of Service and routing are also touched upon. This chapter serves as a useful reminder of why IPv6 is needed. Chapter 2 discusses where IPv4 has been a success. The authors tour the simplicity and reliability of IPv4, and discuss its successes in being scalable and flexible. However, I can't help feeling that the whole IPv4 story should have been a single chapter. The topic of this book is, after all, IPv6!

The book begins a more detailed discussion of IPv6 with chapter 3, which look at the design of the protocol in detail. This chapter is a useful tutorial and reference for the structure of IPv6.

Chapters 4 and 5 cover planning deployment and configuring computers and routers to use IPv6. These chapters describe various methods for migrating to IPv6 and present useful information to the network administrator.

Chapters 6 and 7 look at the operation of IPv6 and services running over IPv6, respectively. Chapter 6 deals with DNS, IPSec, routing and firewalls, while chapter 7 looks at running common services such as HTTP and SMTP over IPv6. Chapter 7 discusses which of the popular software solutions for these services support IPv6. It is an incredibly useful reference, especially for those trying to pick out services to run on IPv6 networks or to determine if their current network can make the transition to IPv6 without disruption of service.

Chapter 8 goes into the details of programming using IPv6. This chapter was unexpected in a network administration book, but it fits in well and provided a change of topic which refreshed me after reading the bulk of the dry technical detail contained in the rest of the book.

The book closes with a voyage into the future of IPv6. In chapter 9 the authors look at some of the issues with IPv6 which are still unresolved and introduce the reader to some subject areas likely to hit the limelight in the near future.

Conclusion

As far as technical detail goes this book has it covered. I cannot fault the accuracy or quantity of the content in the book. As it was published in 2005 it is about as accurate and up to date as you can get without reading the RFCs themselves!

The main issue throughout reading this book was a sense of dryness; the feeling that the authors were not passionate enough about the topic to really write an interesting book, although they did an excellent job at writing a technically correct book.

One feature of the book which did impress me was that the authors were not afraid to show their opinions but also present the other side of the argument alongside their own. Few technical books achieve this objectiveness whilst still presenting the authors personal opinions!

In terms of technical accuracy this book deserves a 10/10 but it is not the easiest book to read; as such I don't feel it is worthy of more than an 8/10.

This book receives an honoured SFDC rating of 8/10



Keywords: IP, IPv4, IPv6, Internet Protocol

This review is copyright 2005 by the author, Andrew J. Bennieston, and Security-Forums Dot Com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or Security-Forums Dot Com.
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