Router architecture books

Another interesting question I've received:
Can you please recommend me literature explaining the architecture of Cisco routers and switches (buffers, control-plane, forwarding-plane, process switching …)
The best one I've found so far is the Inside Cisco IOS Software Architecture, but it's a bit old, so if you've found something better, please comment.

Full disclosure: if you click on the link above and buy the book, I might eventually get $1.76 from Amazon.


  1. An update to this book would indeed be very cool! Having just recently read it, I'd say it was still pretty useful despite having been published in 2000. Even without the platform-specific details, the author does a great job in making the reader understand IOS as an actual operating system with memory space and processes, rather than merely a black box with a CLI.
  2. What about Russ Whites CEF-Book?
    In my eyes it's a little bit like the successor of "Inside IOS Architecture".
  3. Again, a little old, but very good:

    Cisco IP Routing
  4. "High Performance Switches and Routers"

    is more general, quite advanced, but provides very good info on the insides.

    The only side effect i got, was the fact that my head got swirled by the many algorithms described...
  5. Several thoughts....

    The CEF book was supposed to be a followon to the Inside Cisco IOS book, but things just didn't work out that way. The High Performance book is really good, but it's a slightly different area....

    I'd really like to see us do another "inside" book, but it's problematic to put together a team that could/would do it, from a hardware perspective.


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