ATM Theory and Applications

Author: David E. McDysan, Darren L. Spohn
List Price: $69.99
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ISBN: 0070453462
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media (01 September, 1998)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 24,357
Average Customer Rating: 4 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5
Definitive reference on ATM
This book is packed with everything. It is the definitive reference on ATM. If you just want an overview, the book is not for you. If you want to understand ATM in depth, this is it. It is valuable not only for network engineers, but also for product engineers designing new equipment or software. However, McDysan has also come out with a new book titled ATM & MPLS Theory and Application. Unless you are certain you will never need to know about MPLS, I would suggest getting the newer book. I haven't had a chance to read that one yet, but I would expect it is the excellent equivalent of this book with additional coverage of MPLS.

Rating: 5 out of 5
What a great book!
If you work with ATM or need to design networks for ATM, you need to have this book on your shelf. It is the argument-settler and really the best reference on ATM available (that can be understood). Matter of fact, I would go as far to say that this is the only ATM book worth buying.

Rating: 1 out of 5
Tedious, pompous...but good on certain select topics
I turned to this book to understand how the various ATM functions work. I had quite a bit of both practical and conceptual networking background prior to opening this book. As such, I've read quite a number of good and bad technical books on various networking topics.

If you'd rather not read the rest of this review here's the gist. Don't buy this book. Instead, buy Oliver C. Ibe's 'Essentials of ATM Networks and Services'. After you've mastered that, use Mark Miller's 'Analyzing Broadband Networks' to see how ATM Layer PDUs are put together and exchanged in various situations like call setup/teardown etc.

Here's the rest of the review.

Within minutes of reading, I got that old My-Head-Is-Swimming feeling. Not because I couldn't understand what the authors were saying, but more so because I couldn't figure out why on earth I was reading stuff that was irrelevant. Here are a few cases in point:

Every ATM book I've thumbed through religiously talks about the B-ISDN model. And when it starts explaining how something in ATM acutally works (say SSCOP), there is no reference to any of the terms that were introduced and defined in talking about the B-ISDN model. Why talk about the model at all then? This book is no exception.

The vast number of initial pages (285 in fact!) dedicated to talking about things like X.25, FR, multiplexing schemes etc. are useless. If you don't know this stuff, you have no business reading a book dedicated to ATM. And if you're just learning this stuff, there's no way you're going to really understand ATM. And of course, these authors couldn't resist the whole 'business drivers for ATM' nonsense.

The only redeeeming part about the book was Chapter 25 on Traffic Engineering. Just goes to show what technical authors can do when they're talking about stuff they know really really well. This is also the chapter where the authors use language relatively more precisely and concisely - a rare blessing in this overall tedious and pompous book.

Someone ask these guys to check out (...)!

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