Finding a book that covers Local Area Network (LAN) design in its entirety can be difficult as many tend to be too broad on their coverage while others focus on specific areas. Local Area Networks A Business-Oriented Approach certainly can't be accused of either sin, as it attempts to look at the entire concept--you name it and this book discusses it.
The authors adhere to the "top-down" model for network design and analysis where business needs take the highest priority. Once these objectives have been defined, applications are developed, the data generated is examined and the network to cater for these demands is then designed. The technology layer comes last and comprises the hardware that will deliver these requirements.
The authors leave no stone unturned in the quest for the perfect LAN. Network architectures are discussed in depth as are the different types of hardware currently available and the network layer protocols. The book is up to date as Gigabit ethernet and Category five, six and seven cabling come under the spotlight and there are good overviews of NetWare 5 and Windows 2000 although it's clear this was written before the latter's final release. There's plenty more to consider: client/server application development, network software, bandwidth management, LAN administration--it's all here.
This is the second edition of this title and now includes entire chapters devoted to TCP/IP and middleware plus new real world case studies supporting each chapter. Overall, it's one of the most complete introductions you're likely to find on LANs.--Dave Mitchell [via]