Why do so many people find IP addressing so hard? Maybe it’s because most writers on the subject dive headfirst into the details, without explaining how the entire system fits together. Maybe they think you already know that. (Maybe they don’t understand it!) No matter. Read IP Addressing Fundamentals and you’ll understand this stuff well enough to teach it.
Which is exactly what author Mark A. Sportack does for a living. Here, he gives you the “big picture,” shows how every element fits into the overall system, and explains why IP addressing has evolved as it has -- full of “stopgap” solutions that now seem permanent.
He begins with “classical IP,” subnet masks, supernetting, NAT, and especially CIDR, which bridged the gaps between network classes, delaying address depletion and making routing tables more manageable. Once you’re rock-solid on the basics, Sportack offers a concise, readable introduction to DNS, then introduces IPv4 multicasting with IGMPv1 and v2.
Part III focuses on strategies for maximizing network stability, scalability, and performance. Sportack starts by explaining what actually happens when an Ethernet LAN user contacts an external web site: how Ethernet addresses are translated to IP, and how routers use them to calculate routes. You’ll learn how to ameliorate vulnerabilities in IP-based networks; and, especially, how to plan and manage address spaces. Shortack wraps up with the fairest, simplest explanation of IPv6 we’ve seen -- thankfully, without taking sides in the IPv6 “religious war.”
What a shame it took so long to get an IP book this accessible. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.