John (not a real name for obvious reasons) sent me the following e-mail:
I am a Sys Admin who has recently assumed duties as a Net Eng. I am currently expected to perform responsibilities utilizing DMVPN with Cisco routers though I have never worked with DMVPN and have very little router experience. I started with your DMVPN webinar and it has been extremely helpful, but there’s still a huge gap between what I know so far and what I need to know to work with DMVPN.
In a few days I will deploy to Afghanistan to start work for a customer and I was hoping you might be able to give me some advice on the matter, perhaps some how-to documents or good books to purchase that will assist in the huge learning curve.
As we know, DMVPN utilizes a particular mix of technologies, from IP routing (both underneath DMVPN tunnels and across them) and IP routing protocols to IPsec, multipoint GRE and NHRP. Assuming John needs to start from scratch, I advised him to:
- Start with introductory material (CCNA level) to get familiar with the router's CLI and basic functions;
- Move to CCNP-level material to get exposure to technologies underlying DMVPN;
- Add a few networking bibles (like Jeff Doyle’s Routing TCP/IP) to the mix.
- Read everything Petr Lapukhov and Jeremy Stretch wrote on the above-mentioned topics
- Follow the blogs on Stretch’s list of networking blogs.
I was not able to recommend specific books as I never read them (your comments would be highly appreciated), but I did find a fantastic purchasing option: the Safari 10-slot Bookshelf allows you to read up to 10 books per month (giving you quite an error margin if you select the wrong books) and download five PDFs per month for astonishingly low $22.99.
The “only” question left is thus: which books should John select as the starting point and which ones would you recommend he reads to build his knowledge?