This question's really directed towards our resident networking gurus (rusko/mfjp/jsw6) but anyone who can point me in teh right direction, please feel free to post . I was in Borders the other day taking a look through books and I'm really intrested in learning the in's and out's of routing and all of these issues we see frequently discussed. O'Rielly has two books, "BGP" and "Cisco Cookbook" that looked pretty interesting - are these good reads? Are there any other books that I can dig into and get a grasp as to what's going on in these networking threads that keep popping up? Not to say I know nothing, but when you guys start talking about "AS Paths" and things, I feel left out being a shared/reseller provider :-p (I really don't need to induldge myself in networking details the way many colo/dedicated providers do), but I'd still like to get a stronger grasp on these things.
I have my CCNA, i didn't find it that hard to obtain. Need to get off my lazy bumm and work towards CCNP.
Yes I did use a Cisco Press CCNA book, but at the time I also had a mentor and lots of Routers at my disposal (production and non-production. 7513, 7507, 7206, 2600s, etc..) I think the routers/switches gave me the biggest advantage. If you could get your hands on 2 routers and a switch, you should be able to learn a lot faster.
I have heard of some virtual ios software, but i've never used it, so i could not comment on it (but i'm sure it isn't anywhere close to real IOS).
Cisco's site is also a great resource they have tons of documentation. There are probably a lot of free tutorials/etc, out there too on the web.
They have cisco press and oreilly of course. and a few other publishers.
Personally i have bought like 50 expensive technical books in the past 3 - 4 years. I use them for a while, learn it. Move on... then it sits there, maybe reference it every once in a while. Then they become mostly obsolete because the info is so old.