If you're ready for a technical deep dive in a book, the Cisco Networking Technology Series provides that in its collection of volumes on topics that include Cisco firewalls, Cisco Unity Connection voice-messaging platform, Cisco Contact Center, IPv6 and more. Here's a quick review of the books published in this series by Cisco Press this year.
Cisco Firewalls, by Alexandre M.S.P. Moraes. As a systems engineer for Cisco Brazil, Moraes is the guide to take the determined reader through a veritable jungle of firewall possibilities for the various Cisco ASA hardware appliances. This mammoth volume, which runs close to 900 pages, starts with a clear tutorial on security basics, ramping up to establishing VLAN groups, moving on to Virtual Routing and Forwarding and the role of the Nexus 1000v virtual switch used with VMware ESX. There's detail on access-control lists, various options for Network Address Translation, DNS, FTP and HTTP inspection, inspection of voice protocols, and IPv6 connectivity basics. The author has integrity in reporting perceived limitations in the ASA multi-functional appliances, such as not supporting multi-cast routing, while pointing to possible relief in future ASA versions.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise by Gary Ford, systems engineer and consultant with over a decade experience in telephony and contact center deployments. This book is about pulling together the various piece parts Cisco offers to design the Cisco Contact Center of your wildest dreams for your call-contact agents to interact with customers. But with so many possible components, you may feel at first like one of Santa's elves the night before Christmas, if the elves were system administrators.