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Great Suggestions for Volume III

I just returned from a long, intense consulting engagement in India. Now that I’ve got my head back above water, I hope to be able to do some catching up on this blog with some long overdue posts.

But first, I want to thank all of you who posted and e-mailed me so many wonderful suggestions, in response to the last post, about a possible Routing TCP/IP, Volume III.

The majority of your responses suggested one of three topics:

-       CCIE-level switching

-       MPLS

-       Large-scale network design

Brett Bartow at Cisco Press followed your posts and tells me that he particularly likes the idea of a switching book. I do too, although it’s a stretch to fit layer 2 switching under the umbrella of “Routing TCP/IP.” So if I go that direction, I would probably propose a book as something other than Volume III of that series.

As I mentioned in the previous post, MPLS seems to me to be the next logical topic to address. It also makes the most sense as far as leveraging my personal expertise. So while Brett tells me there’s not enough of a market for yet another MPLS book, your responses make it clear that many of you would buy such a book simply because it is a part of the Routing TCP/IP series. I’ve taken great encouragement from that, and will continue to discuss it with Brett. It will be a year or so before my schedule will allow me to begin work on a Volume III, whatever the topic, so there could well be enough new developments around MPLS to find a market for a new book where an insufficient market currently exists. If I do go this direction, you can be sure that many of your posts and e-mails will be included in the formal proposal.

And then there is large-scale network design. That is my favorite suggestion! Given the new Cisco certifications that are coming out, intended to be above and beyond CCIE and to focus on network architecture, a network design book would be excellent either as a Volume IV or as a stand-alone book.

Interestingly, my OSPF and IS-IS: Choosing an IGP for Large-Scale Networks was intended to be the first in a vendor-neutral series on large-scale network design: It would have been followed by an in-depth book on BGP and then one on MPLS, and a final book or two bringing all those preliminary topics together in large-scale architectures. And while I remain very proud of the OSPF/IS-IS book, Addison Wesley never backed it up with the kind of sales and marketing effort that Cisco Press puts behind their books. As a result I dropped plans for further books in that series (and expect that the OSPF book will not remain in publication much longer), preferring to focus my efforts behind more books for Cisco Press.

So thanks again for all of your wonderful suggestions and encouragement about future book directions. And thanks also for sticking with this blog, even though I’ve been shockingly neglectful of it for the past month due to “day job” demands on my time. I hope to make it up to you with some good posts over the coming weeks!

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