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Configuring NetScreen Firewalls Paperback – 1 Dec 2004

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About the Author

Rob Cameron (JNCIS-FWV, JNCIA-M, CCSP, CCSE+) is a Security Solutions Engineer for Juniper Networks. He currently works to design security solutions for Juniper Networks that are considered best practice designs. Rob specializes in network security architecture, firewall deployment, risk management, and high-availability designs. His background includes five years of security consulting for more than 300 customers. This is Rob's second book; the previous one being Configuring NetScreen Firewalls (ISBN: 1-932266-39-9) published by Syngress Publishing in 2004.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Content is OK, but this book was rushed to the printer 8 Mar 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
OK, so I'm sitting here, reading about setting up my route preferences (I'm on page 289), and the sentence trails off into nowhere--literally, not figuratively. It simply . . . disappears. This book is rife with incomplete sentences (and therefore, thoughts and instructions are left incomplete), misuse of language (affect vs. effect), misspellings, etc. Why is this important? In a technical manual, details matter. So, when I'm reading a technical manual, and it's clear that the author and editors have not paid close attention to detail, the rest of the instructions are suspect.

Here is another example. There is an entire section on Policy-Based VPN Configuration, which is fantastic; however, Juniper has basically stated and written in the solution brief "How Different VPN Approaches Affect Site-to-Site Scalability and Connectivity" that Policy-Based VPN's are the least preferred method of defining a VPN, because of connectivity and reliability issues. This is important because this book does not describe the process for configuring the alternative types of VPN's--route-based or dynamic route-based--but merely lends a paragraph to the former and a sentence fragment to the latter. This is a huge oversight by the authors, and leaves the reader fingering through other manuals to properly configure the device.

A few positive notes, the chapter on the Netscreen product line was helpful and informative, the screen shots helped walk me through several rudimentary procedures, and I found it to be a pretty good review for dusting off my old NCIA certification.

Craig Lockhart, JNCIA-FW, CCSE
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Better off waiting for a Second Edition... 5 Jun 2006
By Stefan Fouant - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of books, and while I don't review all of them, I am often compelled to write a review when a book stands out, either for it's clear leadership and technical distinction in the marketplace, or for it's extreme lack thereof. In this case, I was compelled to write the review based on the latter.

Seeing as this is the only Netscreen book on the market, I had high expectations for it. When one looks at the credentials of the numerous authors, it reads like a veritable list of leaders in the Security industry. As such, I was rather excited when I picked up this book. As I began reading this book, I quickly realized that it was not going to meet my expectations. Clearly this book was rushed to market, another sign that the primary concern of many publishers is not in producing quality, but rather quantity. This book suffers from many of the same problems I see with other books on the market with multiple contributing authors, which is that the voice isn't consistent throughout the book. Some chapters have diagrams, screen shots, or CLI commands outlining various procedural steps, whereas these details are noticeably absent in others.

In addition, this book is littered with many errors throughout, both typographical as well as technical. In some cases, as other reviewers point out, sentences simply stop abruptly mid-sentence. The text often refers to diagrams which don't even exist. There are numerous references to find additional information in other chapters which are non-existent.

With regards to technical content, the authors certainly could have added more detail, especially considering the number of authors who contributed to this text. For example, the chapter on Routing does a good job of telling the reader how to enable BGP, but provides no details on how to actually configure a BGP neighbor. Another example is URL filtering which is discussed in the chapter on Attack Detection and Defense. While the authors do a good job of describing the various modes to support URL filtering (redirect vs. integrated), there is no explanation of how redirection actually takes place and no diagrams to provide for comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

I can't blame the authors entirely for the many flaws in this book, as any decent technical editor should have been able to spot many of these errors prior to publication. One wonders whether the technical editors even read the book as many of the errors are so blatant that it's inconceivable that so many managed to slip through. I'm disappointed in Syngress for publishing a book with so many errors, and this has definitely led me to believe that Syngress does not want to maintain a leadership position of publishing technical content of the highest magnitude, but rather they are only concerned with being the first to market with a particular product.

I will give this book 2 stars in that it is indeed a noble attempt at covering a wide array of topics, as well as for being the only book in the industry which covers this subject matter. I suggest that the authors should examine the possibility of releasing a second edition which may fix these blatant errors, as well as hiring some decent technical editors.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
...worth more the twice the price I paid for it. 12 Jan 2005
By Tony from Michigan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just got this book second week of January, 2005. This review is written after using the book for one week.

I have been using NetScreen 5GT's for about one year. The book covers all the important topics for using the NetScreen OS. The value of the book is fantastic compared to a consultant at $175 to $200 per hour (US dollars). If you are new to using Netscreen, the book will save lots of time understanding and setting up a OS configuration.

The chapters are setup in a very logical way. The writing and examples are easy to understand and follow. The authors have done a better job than the "official" NetScreen documentation, in creating a book that makes it possible to quickly learn the NetScreen technology.

The list of authors contains the exact type of people you would want to ask a hundred questions of, for setting up a new Netscreen: independent Security Consultants and system engineers who work for Netscreen. (Those hundred questions are answered in this book).

Here is the ultimate compliment I can give the book, to me it is worth more the twice the price I paid for it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Falls Short of the Mark... 13 Dec 2005
By J. Gardner - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has several serious shortcomings. There are numerous spelling and grammatical errors, and sentences sometimes just end abruptly right in mid-sentence. The typography is uneven with run-together letters and spaces breaking words into pieces. The writing style is often choppy and hard to follow. In short, this book has the appearance of a first draft that has not had the benefit of editing. The editors were really asleep on the job to let this one slip through.

Aside from all of the issues mentioned above, the real problem with this book is that it doesn't have any examples. Sure, it has examples for each configuration command, but so does the vendor documentation, and this just appears to be a rehash of that information. What are completely missing are detailed examples describing how to configure a Netscreen firewall in a real-world environment. I would like to have seen comprehensive examples of configurations for remote office, small office, and enterprise environments that include setting up VPNs, DMZs, and other complex tasks.

Bottom line: this book is riddled with mistakes that should never have gotten past the editors and falls far short of the mark when it comes to providing real-world configuration examples. It's no better than a poorly done rehash of the vendor documentation available free on Juniper's website.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book to learn Netscreen Products and for Cert! 8 Feb 2005
By Brad W - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an IT specialist for over 5 years now I have studied several different products and gained many certifications. I have worked with other firewalls, which can often be complex to configure with inadaquet documentation. I really feel that this book does a great job of thouroughly explaining all of the content in a very straighforward manner. Although this book is focused on how to configure the Netscreen product line (can be used across any product using the ScreenOS) it is also an invaluable tool for gaining your JNCIA-FWB certification. The reason why this is so important for gaining this certification is that you really need to fully understand how to configure and use the device in order to get the certificaiton--not just memorize facts. In fact, after reading this book, brushing up your certification knowledge is very minimal. If you desire more certificaiton practice the author made a testing engine which is availible at [...]
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