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Computer Networking Problems and Solutions

Computer Networking Problems and Solutions

An innovative approach to building resilient, modern networks

Russ White, Ethan Banks,

Mar 2018, Paperback, 832 pages
ISBN13: 9781587145049
ISBN10: 1587145049
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Computer Networking Problems and Solutions offers a new approach to understanding networking that not only illuminates current systems but prepares readers for whatever comes next. This guide’s problem-solving approach reveals why modern computer networks and protocols are designed as they are, by explaining the problems any protocol or system must overcome, considering common solutions to those problems, and providing examples of these solutions as they’ve been implemented in protocols both old and new.

This book’s three sections each cover a different set of problems and solutions. Section I considers data transport (the data plane). Section II covers protocols used to discover and use topology and reachability information (the control plane). Section III considers some common network designs and architectures, including data center fabrics, MPLS cores, and modern Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN). The principles that underlie such technologies as Software Defined Networks (SDNs) are considered throughout the book, as solutions to the common problems faced by all networking technologies.

Computer Networking Problems and Solutions is ideal for beginning network engineers, students just starting out in computer networks, and experienced engineers seeking a deeper understanding of the technologies they use every day. Whatever their background, it will help readers quickly recognize problem/solution patterns constantly encountered in computer networks, and quickly apply this knowledge with new protocols, solutions, systems, and network environments.

Part 1: Overview
1. Fundamental Concepts

Part 2: The Data Plane
2. Data Transmission: Problems and Solutions
3. Data Transmission: Examples
4. Modeling the Forwarding Flow
5. How a Router Switches Packets
6. Quality of Service: Problems and Solutions
7. Defining Network Virtualization
8. Virtualization Examples
9. Data Plane Security
10. Redundant and Resilient
11. Processing Beyond Switching

Part 3: The Control Plane
12. Reacting to Topology Changes
13. Understanding the Control Plane as a Database
14. Topology Discovery
15. Interlayer Discovery Examples
16. Unicast Loop Free Paths
17. Unicast Control Planes
18. Failure Domains and Information Hiding: Problems and Solutions
19. Failure Domains and Information Hiding: Examples
20. Control Plane Policy and Tradeoffs
21. Security: A Broader Sweep
22. Network Design Patterns

Part 4: Architectures and Systems
23. Virtualized Network Functions
24. Internet of Things
25. The World of Hyperscale and Data Analytics
26. Data Center Fabric Example
27. SD-WAN Example
28. Enterprise Campus Example
29. Global vs. Regional Anycast Example

  • Provides both depth and interactive understanding
  • A problem/solution/implementation pattern that facilitates understanding how to approach problems, rather than simply providing information about specific technologies that become quickly obsolete
  • A proven system of learning that enables engineers to keep pace with fast changing technological innovation
  • Explanations by three engineers experienced in explaining complex ideas to engineers of all levels of skill

Russ White, CCIE No. 2635, CCDE 2007::1, CCAr, has more than 30 years of experience in designing, deploying, breaking, and troubleshooting large-scale networks. In that time, he has co-authored more than 40 software patents, spoken at venues throughout the world, participated in the development of several Internet standards, helped develop the CCDE and the CCAr, and worked in Internet governance with the Internet Society. Russ is currently a member of the architecture team at LinkedIn, where he works on next-generation data center designs, complexity, security, and privacy. He is also currently on the routing area directorate at the IETF and co-chairs the IETF I2RS and BABEL working groups. His most recent books are The Art of Network Architecture and Navigating Network Complexity.


Russ holds an MSIT from Capella University, a MACM from Shepherds Theological Seminary, and a PhD in progress from Southeastern Theological Seminary.


Ethan Banks, CCIE No. 20655, Routing & Switching, has been in IT since 1995, working early in his career as a systems engineer for Novell, Windows, and Linux environments. He later became an Internet services engineer working with DNS, SMTP, HTTP, and related applications at a regional ISP. He predominantly has been a network engineer and architect for enterprises in verticals including higher education, state government, consulting, finance, and technology. He has held titles such as senior network engineer, network operations manager, technical services manager, network architecture manager, and senior network architect.


In 2010, Ethan co-founded Packet Pushers Interactive, a media company whose premier product is a weekly podcast listened to by more than 10,000 network engineers all over the world.


Ethan is a writer whose content can be found in Network World, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Modern Infrastructure, and TechTarget, among other outlets. Ethan also maintains his own blog where he writes about technology at ethancbanks.com. Ethan has written and/or edited whitepapers for SolarWinds, Nuage Networks, CloudGenix, and NetBrain Technologies. He is currently the Future of Networking co-chair for Interop.


Ethan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science & Business Administration from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1993. In the past, Ethan was certified as a Certified Netware Engineer, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Professional, Certified Ethical Hacker, and Cisco Certified Security Professional, among other titles.

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