Book Review: The Fibre Channel Bench Reference

If I have not done already, I will be posting a list of book resources I am using for preparation of CCIE Storage.  Basically I read quite a few books, including both Ciscopress books on storage networking.  What is very important is that you get a book that explains low level information on Fibre Channel.  Most of these books are not cheap, and Cisco gives you a list of a few of them in the recommended reading list for CCIE Storage.  At the recommendation of iementor.com I decided to buy The Fibre Channel Bench Reference.

The Fibre Channel Bench Reference

This book is spiral bound which makes it good for referencing and paging through.  Its expensive, $120.00, and doesn’t exactly look like a $120.00 book, but its packed with important information.  I really wanted in depth information on Link Control Services, Extended Link Servers, and Fabric Link Services, and this book does a great job of that.  It gives you all the details, down to various flags that are set in the frames, as well as R_CTL values and other important information you should know.  It gives clear graphs of several message exchanges which I found very helpful.  The author tries to be humorous throughout the book, which is welcome since its such dry technical material.

I would not make this the only book purchase however.  I will post my book list as a page on the site (and then try to remember to link back here), and give as summarization of some material I have used so far and what I thought of it.  Some books I read just aren’t worth reading at all, and some have been very good.  What’s important to realize is this is a CCIE level certification, and so they can go deep as well as wide, and I assure you they will do both.  That is one of the main differences that separates the CCIE from professional level certifications, the fact that it is expert level knowledge.

So the short of it, is I highly recommend this book.  I would also recommend getting it at iementor.com, as they actually have a very good price on this book, and they offer alot of other good CCIE storage material that can be very helpful.  Pursuit of something like the CCIE Storage is definitely not cheap, however it’s important that you invest in the best tools available if you really are serious about passing.  That is what I have tried to do.

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