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[techbooks] REVIEW: "ATM", Uyless Black

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKATM.RVW 990402 ATM , Uyless Black, 1999, 0-13-083218-9 0-13-571837-6 0-13-784182-5 %A Uyless Black 102732.3535@compuserve.com uyless@infoinst.com %C
    Message 1 of 1 , May 12, 1999
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      BKATM.RVW 990402

      "ATM", Uyless Black, 1999, 0-13-083218-9 0-13-571837-6 0-13-784182-5
      %A Uyless Black 102732.3535@... uyless@...
      %C One Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
      %D 1999
      %G 0-13-083218-9 0-13-571837-6 0-13-784182-5
      %I Prentice Hall
      %O 800-576-3800 416-293-3621 201-236-7139 fax: 201-236-7131
      %P 3 volumes, 873 p.
      %T "ATM, Second Edition"

      The preface states that the book is intended for professionals who do
      not have time to keep up with standards documents, and for engineers
      in the field. Certainly ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) is a topic
      that lots of people want to talk about, but few understand.

      The topic is divided into three volumes, the first covering ATM as a
      foundation for broadband networks, the second looking at signalling,
      and the third discussing internetworking.

      Chapter one of the first volume is supposed to be an introduction, but
      it doesn't lay much of a groundwork for the audience. In a storm of
      vegetable soup, we basically get the idea that people want more
      bandwidth. Even to come up with the notion that ATM can be carried
      over SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) requires some reading between
      the lines. Generally this section would also provide some rationale
      for the use of ATM, but table 1-3, for example, lists the "top ten"
      problems to be solved and starts with the request for LAN performance
      above 100 Mbps at a time when Gigabit Ethernet is starting to become

      Chapter two discusses the conversion of analogue signals to digital
      data suitable for carriage on digital networks. The explanation is,
      however, just as confused as that for chapter one. At one point we
      are given an explanation of pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) that only
      requires two or three re-readings to understand. Immediately,
      however, Black starts using PCM (pulse code modulation) without noting
      the similarity or distinction in the change.

      So goes most of the material. The remaining topics in book one
      include the layered network model, existing technologies, Broadband
      Integrated Services Digital Network (B-ISDN), ATM basics, the ATM
      Adaptation Layer (AAL), ATM switching, traffic management, call and
      connection control, internetworking, SONET, OAM (operations,
      administration, and maintenance), the physical layer, and the ATM
      market. Volume two adds ISDN and B-ISDN architecture, ATM
      architecture, signalling system 7 (SS7) architecture, addressing, SAAL
      (signalling ATM adaptation layer), user-network interface (UNI)
      signalling, B-ISDN user part (B-ISUP) signalling, operations between
      UNI and NNI (network-node interface), performance requirements, and
      private network-network interface (PNNI). Volume three looks into
      internetworking, with a rationale, encapsulation and address mapping,
      ATM and frame relay, DXI (data exchange interface) and FUNI (frame
      user networking interface), the ATM Forum's standards FRF .5 and .8,
      LAN emulation, protocol data units (PDUs), configuration, Next Hop
      Resolution Protocol (NHRP), and multiprotocol over ATM.

      One cannot fault a technical book aimed at a technical audience for
      taking a highly technical tone. On the other hand, if this book is
      truly aimed at those who have no time to study, it is making
      extraordinary demands on their time.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKATM.RVW 990402

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      If we knew what we were doing we wouldn't call it research now
      would we? - Albert Einstein.
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade

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