This book is targeted at networking professionals who possess a theoretical understanding of the concepts and principles of LAN switching but want to apply this knowledge to real-world scenarios. You need to possess at least CCNA-level knowledge of routing and switching if you want to use this book to its full extent. The value of practical experience in any type of work cannot be overstated, and this book gives you the practical experience and confidence to implement real-life switched networks. After reading this book, you should also possess a much deeper understanding of LAN switching theory and operation. It is amazing how a theoretical concept that might confuse you in reading becomes clearer after actually putting the concept into practice.
If you are purchasing this book for certification reasons, the primary certification audience of this book is obviously the prospective CCNP candidate. This book covers the material included in the new CCNP Switching 3.0 exam. This book is also an excellent book for any potential CCIE Routing + Switching candidates because the focus of the book is mainly around the Catalyst 3550 switch, which is the switch now used in the CCIE Routing + Switching lab. If you are not pursuing a certification and are considering buying this book because you need to implement and support Cisco Catalyst switches, this book is also perfect for you. The content covered is designed to take a real-world perspective on LAN switching, focusing on features that are common and important to real-life networks, rather than just focusing on the CCNP Switching exam objectives.