[techbooks] REVIEW: "ATM", Uyless Black
- 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
%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
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