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Arun Nair

Million Dollar question

All experts,

I need your valued opinion.

I need to know where can I get elaborate learning materials which describe routing and switching at the hardware level, as I feel that is the way to go about learning them.

Something that describes about MLS, ASICs, packet flow during routing and switching, etc.

Alexander Maroukian


My opinion is that BMCN course from CCNP track is good place to start.

Best regards,


EDIT: This course is retired now is SWITCH, but if you get the materials for BMCN you should be fine.

Hi Alexander,

I agree that BMCN's a good course to start with

But would'nt that course completely concentrate on switching alone?

Also I did go through that. I did not feel that was enough. I need to get on the subject with a research perspective....hope you got my idea...

Hi Arun,

I would suggest reading this book Cisco press LAN Fundamentals for CCIE and Routing TCP/IP by jeff doyle vol1/vl2.

These books give you that in depth knowledge that you are after. There are other books around but i like the above books



Thanks Kishore. I am gonna check the book out.

Peter Paluch
Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

Hello Arun,

A couple of recommended books for reading:

George Varghese: Network Algorithmics

ISBN-10: 0120884771   | ISBN-13: 978-012088477

Vijay Bollapragada, Russ White, Curtis Murphy: Inside Cisco IOS Software Architecture

ISBN-10: 1578701813 | ISBN-13: 978-1578701810

Nakia Stringfield, Russ White, Stacia McKee: Cisco Express Forwarding

ISBN-10: 1-58705-236-9 | ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-236-1

The first book is a highly recommended reading from a vendor-neutral standpoint. The second and third title are very well-informed on Cisco specifics.

Do not expect everything to be dissected down to the level of logic gates, though. Each of these books can go down or be specific to a certain detail. However, these ASICs are often what makes a switch or a router unique among its competitors, and while there can be general descriptions of what such an ASIC is supposed to do, vendors may be very secretive about how it is doing that because that is their intellectual property that makes them stand out.

Best regards,


No not to the level of "logic gates". But this is the info I required. Really, THANKS PETER..... ...Really liked the fact that you got my point of approach....