The tag line at the top of the cover of this book says "Everything You Need to Know That Wasn't on the CCNA Exam". Though never having sat the exam, I boldly continued reading...
Part 1. Hubs, Switches, and Switching, started off with a very helpful reminder of what a network can be used for, followed by a thorough explanation of the difference between hubs and switches. It then moved onto discuss the really useful stuff that managed switches can do for you, such as VLANs and trunking, all described in a very clear and understandable way, which would be relevant to any manufacturers switch, not just Cisco.
This introduction was then followed by some detailed configuration examples, including IOS commands and sample output from the command line of the Cisco device being configured.
This pattern of introduction - discussion - examples was repeated through each section, and with only minimal reference to other sections made each one a good independent piece of reference material on that topic.
While some of the chapters discussed equipment and techniques which would only be employed in enterprise-level organizations, such as the chapter on Cisco 6500 multilayer switches, or the section on Telecom which felt a little out of place in this book, the majority of the book deals with subjects which will be much more familiar to most network administrators.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that knowing the Cisco syllabus was not an essential requirement in order to gain a great deal of knowledge from this book. It provides some good reference information as well as some practical "real-world" examples derived from the authors own experiences. However most benefit will be gained if the reader has a reasonable grounding in networking principles - definitely not for beginners.
Table of contents
Network Warrior Part 1. Hubs, Switches, and Switching Part 2. Routers and Routing Part 3. Multilayer Switches part 4. Telecom Part 5. Security and Firewalls Part 6. Server Load Balancing Part 7. Quality of Service Part 8. Designing Networks Index