Writing a book is hard work—far harder than I ever imagined. Though I spent countless hours alone in front of a keyboard, I could not have accomplished the task without the help of many others.
I would like to thank my lovely wife, Lauren, for being patient, loving, and supportive. Lauren, being my in-house proofreader, was also the first line of defense against grammatical snafus. Many of the chapters no doubt bored her to tears, but I know she enjoyed at least a few. Thank you for helping me achieve this goal in my life.
I would like to thank Meghan and Colleen for trying to understand that when I was writing, I couldn’t play. I hope I’ve helped instill in you a sense of perseverance by completing this book. If not, you can be sure that I’ll use it as an example for the rest of your lives. I love you both “bigger than the universe” bunches.
I would like to thank my mother—because she’s my mom, and because she never gave up on me, always believed in me, and always helped me even when she shouldn’t have (Hi, Mom!).
I would like to thank my father for being tough on me when he needed to be, for teaching me how to think logically, and for making me appreciate the beauty in the details. I have fond memories of the two of us sitting in front of my RadioShack Model III computer while we entered basic programs from a magazine. I am where I am today largely because of your influence, direction, and teachings. You made me the man I am today. Thank you, Papa. I miss you.
I would like to thank my Cozy, my faithful Newfoundland dog who was tragically put to sleep in my arms so she would no longer have to suffer the pains of cancer. Her body failed while I was writing the first edition of this book, and if not for her, I probably would not be published today. Her death caused me great grief, which I assuaged by writing. I miss you my Cozy—may you run pain free at the rainbow bridge until we meet again.
I would like to thank Matt Maslowski for letting me use the equipment in his lab that was lacking in mine, and for helping me with Cisco questions when I wasn’t sure of myself. I can’t think of anyone I would trust more to help me with networking topics. Thanks, buddy.
I would like to thank Jeff Fry, CCIE# 22061, for providing me temporary access to a pair of unconfigured Cisco Nexus 7000 switches. This was a very big deal, and the second edition is much more complete as a result.
I would like to thank Jeff Cartwright for giving me my first exciting job at an ISP and for teaching me damn-near everything I know about telecom. I still remember being taught about one’s density while Jeff drove us down Interstate 80, scribbling waveforms on a pad on his knee while I tried not to be visibly frightened. Thanks also for proofreading some of my telecom chapters. There is no one I would trust more to do so.
I would like to thank Mike Stevens for help with readability and for some of the more colorful memories that have been included in this book. His help with PIX firewalls was instrumental to the completion of the first edition. You should also be thankful that I haven’t included any pictures. I have this one from the Secaucus data center...
I would like to thank Peter Martin for helping me with some subjects in the lab for which I had no previous experience. And I’d like to extend an extra thank you for your aid as one of the tech reviewers for Network Warrior—your comments were always spot-on and your efforts made this a better book.
I would like to thank another tech reviewer, Yves Eynard: you caught some mistakes that floored me, and I appreciate the time you spent reviewing. This is a better book for your efforts.
I would like to thank Sal Conde and Ed Hom for access to 6509E switches and modules.
I would like to thank Michael Heuberger, Helge Brummer, Andy Vassaturo, Kelly Huffman, Glenn Bradley, Bill Turner, and the rest of the team in North Carolina for allowing me the chance to work extensively on the Nexus 5000 platform and for listening to me constantly reference this book in daily conversation. I imagine there’s nothing worse than living or working with a know-it-all writer.
I would like to thank Christopher Leong for his technical reviews on the telecom and VoIP chapters.
I would like to thank Robert Schaffer for helping me remember stuff we’d worked on that I’d long since forgotten.
I would like to thank Jennifer Frankie for her help getting me in touch with people and information that I otherwise could not find.
I would like to thank Mike Loukides, my editor, for not cutting me any slack, for not giving up on me, and for giving me my chance in the first place. You have helped me become a better writer, and I cannot thank you enough.
I would like to thank Rachel Head, the copyeditor who made the first edition a much more readable book.
I would like to thank all the wonderful people at O’Reilly. Writing this book was a great experience, due in large part to the people I worked with at O’Reilly.
I would like to thank my good friend, John Tocado, who once told me, “If you want to write, then write!” This book is proof that you can change someone’s life with a single sentence. You’ll argue that I changed my own life, and that’s fine, but you’d be wrong. When I was overwhelmed with the amount of remaining work to be done, I seriously considered giving up. Your words are the reason I did not. Thank you.
I cannot begin to thank everyone else who has given me encouragement. Living and working with a writer must, at times, be maddening. Under the burden of deadlines, I’ve no doubt been cranky, annoying, and frustrating, for which I apologize.
My purpose for the last year has been the completion of this book. All other responsibilities, with the exception of health and family, took a back seat to my goal. Realizing this book’s publication is a dream come true for me. You may have dreams yourself, for which I can offer only this one bit of advice: work toward your goals, and you will realize them. It really is that simple.