The first edition of Optical Networks: A Practical Perspective accumulated lots of happy readers, largely because the authors took care to explain the physical phenomena that allow light to carry information, as well as the design principles that characterize good optical networks, particularly wavelength division multiplexing (WDM). Very little was assumed, and even the most complicated formulas appeared alongside annotations that shed light (sorry) on the behavior being described. The latest edition of the book has everything that made the first edition great--the physics haven't changed much, after all--as well as up-to-date information about networking equipment and techniques. The second edition is a first-class revision; you'll want it even if you already own the old version.Fully half of this book has more to do with network engineering than with theoretical matters. The authors take care to discuss all aspects of optical data communications with efficiency (in terms of capacity utilization, management effort, and monetary cost) in mind. There's not a lot of discussion of vendors' specific products, so you'll have to look elsewhere for configuration instructions. But for getting your network designed and understanding how its components communicate data and provide redundancy--as well as for providing reference to other authoritative works--this book is tops. --David Wall Topics covered: Tools and technologies for communicating data (including digitized voice signals) over fiber-optic cables. SONET gets a lot of attention, as does wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) as a technique for increasing capacity. Network design--with an eye toward efficiency and survivability--is dealt with in authoritative detail.