I decided to start a new practice. I will post short reviews of books I like. I know that everyone doing that and internet is full of different opinions addressing any subject one can imagine. As it turned out it is rather hard to write a good material but extremely easy to give feedback :). Nevertheless I'll insert my 10 cents as well. I have own reasoning for such behavior. I like reading - especially computer science books. I remember those dark times of USSR when it was extremely difficult to find a good source of knowledge. I had to scan book stores and libraries just to find a small piece of valuable up-to-date information. Someone could say I was unlucky or was taking wrong approach to information retrieval in those days. But I believe it was just because of the rotten soviet system :). But the situation changed dramatically nowadays. I have more books on my hard drive then I'm able to read in my lifetime. As the result I became very selective and try to pay attention only to those books which relate to my interests as close as possible and are best of their kinds (of course taking into account my current level of knowledge in the area). The process of books evaluation requires both time and some experience in the field. So I just hope that my choice can be useful for someone else.
The book I've recently finished is called "Content Networking: Architecture, Protocols and Practice". As you might suspect (surprise! surprise!) it is entirely about content delivery :). It provides excellent and quite thorough overview for newbies and helps more experienced readers with white spots (even if you don't aware of their existance now) and systematization. After reading I have a strange feeling that I've left the extremely overpopulated but noble league of wheel inventors in the area of content networking.
Ok, let's try to find out what it is about in details. Here is the list of all chapters with my brief explanations per chapter. It is not the official contents (you can find one on Amazon using look inside feature).
- Chapter 1. Introduction. Brief history of content networking evolution.
- Chapter 2. Describes how the End-to-End principle guided the original architecture of the Internet. HTTP from protocol design and architecture point of view. Mutlicast concepts.
- Chapter 3. Describes why closer is better and how caching helps to solve problems. You will find out how caches are located within clients, the network, and at the server farms.
- Chapter 4. Media streaming protocols. Even though streams are continuous, making them different from web pages, specialized techniques brings the benefits of caching to multimedia streaming content.
- Chapter 5. Content retrieval requires navigation and this chapter describes how the DNS routes requests to Web servers, Web caches and Web switches. It also descibes how Web switches improve operations and how global request routing connects clients to the best service node.
- Chapter 6. Describes why and how peer-to-peer networks challenge traditional client-server networks. You will learn not only concrete algorithms of the most successful P2P networks but also find out which architectual benefits in network realiability and scalability are provided by P2P.
- Chapter 7. Describes the abstract model for a presence and instant messaging system. It describes a variety of standards-based and proprientary approaches to building such systems. This interactive content delivery presents another challenge for networks that focus traffic or introduce delays.
- Chapter 8. Introduces the arena of the content service provider. People expect instantaneous delivery of information, custom-tailored to their specific needs and preferences. People expect an integrated solution that converges their various communication needs adding value beyond basic content transport. The underpinning technology and architectures are given in this chapter.
- Chapter 9. Describes building of the content networks designed to serve enterprise users, network operators, content distribution companies and content service providers. You will see how network elements are combined and work together to fulfil their needs.
- Chapter 10. Shows the role of standards. Unfolds history and working processes of IETF and W3C. Explains how the creative tension between proprietary solutions and standard solutions continuously energizes Working Groups to identify, describe and solve more challenging problems.
- Chapter 11. Summary and Outlook.
With best regards of enjoyable reading, Me.
BTW I removed link list with recommended books in the right column and began using handy and pretty Amazon widget. As it turned out shortly the famous Firefox addon "Adblock Plus" cuts out all books from the widget leaving only its header :). If you use Adblock and can't make it work correctly please let me know - I'll try to find another solution for recommended books.