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on 9 October 2010
Based on its title this book has been written with a sole purpose of teaching you what is required to pass the CCNP SWITCH exam. In that respect it fails! The book as it stands has gaps relating to syslog, SNMP, IP SLA, planning and implementation. Cisco Press released an errata after plenty of people complained on the Cisco forums but still this is not sufficient. I learned the hard way by relying solely on this book along with Cisco 3750's for labs, the end result being that I failed. I am now reading the Foundation Learning Guide which covers the areas missing from the Certification Guide and in my opinion is better suited if you are following the self study path.

** UPDATE 22nd October**

2 weeks after originally taking the SWITCH exam, I have now passsed. The Foundation Learning Guide played a big part in this as it filled a lot of gaps in topics that are not covered in the Certification Guide. As a self study aid, I would still recommend the Foundation Guide over the Certification Guide.
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on 24 April 2014
If you want to hate Cisco and its courses then read this book ........ I have read the books by Cisco press on CCENT , CCNA and CCNP Route and this book CCNP switch ...I would say the only reasonable( not Good ) book was CCNP Route by Wendell Odom.

I have read books for all above exams of different authors and found Todd Lammle and Rene Molenaar are very good in explaining complex topics. Both authors are like mind readers of student.

For CCNP switch I have already finished Renne's book and now I am half way through the Switch Part of old book CCNP Complete study guide [ Sybex ] co-author is Todd Lammale
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on 18 October 2013
Up until about a month ago I had only studied the CCNA OCG and CCNP ROUTE OCG. All 3 of them are written by Wendell Odom. His books are great. They are full of examples and figures that helps you solidify the knowledge that you get. And even when a question was born, I just kept reading the text and there was the answer. All 3 books are were easy to study and I could get through 30-40 pages per day.
CCNP SWITCH is nothing like that. It is hard to read it and even harder to comprehend the scenarios that it demonstrates if you don't turn to other resources. It was like the author wanted to write handbook and not a book for educational purposes. There are multiple places in the book that the text is screaming for a figure and an example. But it is just not there. I had to research for a topic presented in the book over the Internet more than 15 times in order to understand. It does not follow the educational structure at all. There are bits and pieces of information that you have to put together. I don't know if it does cover the exam material, but even if it is it does not do it in an educational way
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on 28 March 2013
Based on the title, one would think this was a certification guide designed to help pass the Cisco CCNP SWITCH 642-813 examination. It was published by Cisco Press, who you would trust to write the text to ensure you have sufficient knowledge to pass the exam. You would be a fool to believe this!

The book serves as a good foundation to many topics such as Etherchannel and MLS, however covers NOTHING about monitoring your devices using such things as a Cisco IP SLA or SNMP monitoring or even Syslog monitoring.

I sat the exam hoping I had learnt enough about the subject from the text as well as a home lab comprising of 3550 and 2950 switches. I failed the exam as there were items on there that I had not seen before after reading the text.

If you are planning on sitting the Cisco CCNP SWITCH 642-813 exam, I would suggest getting another text to fill in the huge gaps in this one
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on 19 June 2012
As already mentioned by others, this book alone is not enough to pass the exam. However its still a very good book from a technical point of view, there is just a lot more outside of the technical area that Cisco now wants you to know for this exam and that is where this book falls short. Still, a very good read in your pursuit of the SWITCH exam.
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on 21 April 2012
Used this book as my sole source of material for SWITCH exam prep. Having aced the ROUTE exam using only the cert guide I thought it was a safe bet, but I just barely passed the SWITCH exam. If you're going to rely on this book as I did, at least look all the subject matter up online to read about it in more detail, and also look for the 'switchport autostate exclude' command, which may appear in the exam but isn't in the book.
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on 8 March 2014
This book doesn't cover all topics necessary for the exam and its didactic approach to the topics clearly fails, even leading to confussion sometimes.

Although it's a valuable book, I think it doesn't fit the expected standard for any Cisco's Official Certification Guide.

I'll give a try to the Foundation Learning Guide.
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on 5 October 2010
For those wishing to pass the 642-813 exam this is a step in the right direction, however it's only one step! For the rest of the way you'll need to get your hands on a switch interface, definitely a layer 3 capable model, 3550 or 3750. Besides the L3 requirement there are some features that say a 2950 wont allow you to test, so get your hands on hardware that will actually help you pass. There are some good simulators that will take you a long way, just read which commands and features are covered by whichever simulator you choose. The Cisco terms and cons don't permit me to say what's on the exam but I will say it's not simple. I would recommend reviewing at least one other study guide just to get a even spread of the material, note I said review not study two books! You can do this by going to a book shop and just reading another publishers book on the same topic and see how they cover the exam material, alternatively you can purchase another publishers book in pdf format.

I will say the most of the chapters are spot on and very well explained, but I totally agree with some of the other reviews about needing a little bit more.

Based on the fact that I used this book as part of my study plan and passed, I'd recommend it in the same capacity.
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on 7 July 2012
I used this for renewal, however there was no where near enough information to fully recap and cover the new content. Used in conjunction with other materials and you'll be able to do it.
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on 11 September 2014
Book is great as described, however no eBook on the CD which is usually the case. Also delivery was much slower than advertised
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