Cisco Writes the Book on NAC

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Network Access Control, which is more commonly referred to by the acronym NAC, is the most hyped term in networking today. It's also one of the least understood.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a book about NAC?

Well now there is and it comes from none other than the vendor that coined the term NAC in the first place, Cisco (Quote).

No it's not quite NAC for Dummies and it's not even just one book. Cisco Press has a two volume set now out with a 244 page Volume 1 titled NAC Framework Architecture and Design and a 587 page volume 2 titled NAC Framework Deployment and Architecture.

"We saw a need for a book to come out or a roadmap to help customers understand because NAC is unlike other products like a router or a firewall," volume 2 co-author David White Jr told internetnews.com. "NAC involves a lot of products and because of that it's more complicated and there is a need to educate people about what's required to configure NAC properly in their networks."

The need for education was rampantly apparent to volume 1 co-author Denise Helfrich who explained that some NAC customers had been trying to deploy without proper knowledge, planning or preparation.

"Our writers were deploying it and have a lot of knowledge working with it," Helfrich told internetnews.com.

While Volume 1 is focused on design and architecture, Volume 2 is all about deployment and troubleshooting. From a deployment point of view Volume 1 co-author White noted that the biggest challenge with the NAC framework is that users really need to understand what they are trying to accomplish and map things out first.

"What are the goals and how do I deploy in a phased approach," White explained. "It's not like a single device where you drop it in the network and then everyone in the network is protected by NAC framework. That's not how it works."

How it works is that NAC is deployed on individual devices throughout an enterprise network. IT administrators need to understand if NAC can in fact be supported as well as how it can be deployed and tested.

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.

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