Pros: awsome amount of solid information
Cons: hefty weight to carry around, very pricy
This is one of the best written and laid out books for advanced Cisco lab work I have read. The flow of instruction is logical and each step is explained in detail. The diagrams are clearly drawn with sample code.
In each chapter, it starts with an introduction that covers the terminology used for the chapter. The definitions are clear and concise. The next step is the "Technology Overview". This is something many other books would do well to include. They take the Introduction and expand on key concepts and go into the concepts at a much deeper level. The explanation can consist of both words and in many cases, diagrams to help make the point. Then comes the meat of the chapter. Even to the point of having Sniffer trace files to show things like how OSPF really works at the packet level. The included IOS code is nicely done with the key items in BOLD text to help you see it in the mass of code.
Now the fun begins, you have learned all the terms and concepts so it's hands on time. They give a lab to set up, detail how the routers are to be configured and then take you step by step how it works and what happens if something is missing or changed. You need three routers to most of the labs and unless you have access to an ISDN emulator, you will not be able to do much with the ISDN lab. But with careful shopping on eBay, you could build the lab for under 3K and coupled with this book, really learn the nuts and bolts of advanced Cisco configuration.
The chapters are:
IP Access lists
Cisco Discovery Protocol
Network Address Translation (NAT)
Hot Standby Router Protocol
Network time Protocol
Novell Internet Packet Interchange (IPX)
Catalyst 5000 switches
Cisco Password Recovery
HTTP Access with a Cisco Router
Plus 86 distinct labs
I highly recommend this book to any CCNA, CCDN who wants to expand their knowledge base even without wanting to be the CCIE. It's a great reference tool help you test and expand your skill set.