Juniper Networks Secure Access SSL VPN Book

  • The book was released a few weeks ago. I wanted to say a few things about it since there was an error in it. I posted these comments on Amazon and and thought it would be rude not to post the same here considering this is probably where a lot of people who would buy this thing hang out, and hopefully a few more in the future since I mention this forum in the Introduction.

    So…here are the comments.

    First, if you’re looking at buying this book, or have already purchased this book, then I’d like to say thank you. So, Thank You.  I hope you enjoy the book and I hope you find what you’re looking for inside its pages.

    Let me start off by saying that as the title states, this is a configuration guide. It always bothers me when I see someone review a book complaining about how some of the information is too basic. This book is meant to be a guide for beginners to experts, it will obviously cover some things that are basic but hopefully has enough advanced material to keep seasoned users happy as well.

    To the beginners, you’re going to love it. I would have loved to have had this book when I first started working with this device, which is why this book exists now; I couldn’t find what I needed, so I got a few friends together and we did something about that. It covers everything you need to hit the ground running and walks you through how to do it. We’ve got enough screenshots in here that you should be able to find any menu you’re looking for or just verify that you’re on the right screen when you see it.

    To the experts, you should enjoy this too. Hey, we all love the Admin Guide that Juniper provides us with, but lets be honest, it’s unbelievably huge and can sometimes be a little hard to understand. This book puts things in plain English and explains them so you only have to read them once, not ten times, before you get the “Aha!” you’re looking for. It should also be a great quick reference guide for you when you can’t recall how to configure something, though you’ve done it a thousand times. And last, but certainly not least, you can hand it to the new guy and tell him to read it rather than having to explain everything to him.

    Now of course a book wouldn’t be a book without errors, and we have ours too. Does this bother me? Yes. Does this make me insane? You bet. Is this a reality of the publishing world? I’m quickly learning that it is.

    Chapter 1 is “Defining a Firewall”. What the heck is a firewall chapter doing as Chapter 1 of a VPN book? I asked the same question, nay, I yelled it at the top of my lungs(Though my language was more colorful). This chapter was used by the publisher as a placeholder for the original Chapter 1 material, which is the current Introduction. Somewhere in the formation of the book, as the deadlines loomed and were surpassed(Sorry about that pre-orderers), things were getting rushed to the printer and the placeholder ended up more than just a placeholder. I assumed(Silly me) as the book went to print that this was not the case. So what does this mean?

    It means there’s extra information in the book that doesn’t exactly fit its theme. Is this bad information? Not at all, the chapter is sound information, it just doesn’t quite belong, and in future revisions of the book it will not be there. I think the current Introduction of the book does a far better job of introducing it, and in future prints will take the place of Chapter 1.

    I want to stress that the rest of the book is SOLID!  We work with these devices every day, many of us at Juniper Networks, or working directly for Juniper Networks. Will this book have everything you want? I hope so, I sincerely do. If it doesn’t, I’m sorry, all I can say is drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do in the Second Edition. So thanks again for reading our book, and thank you for taking the time to read my comments as well.

  • Thanks. And I’ll take the dig as well.  🙂

    When I last spoke to the publisher they said they’d get the right people working to get it up. I may just have to nudge them again,

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the book.

  • Neil,

    The book is great!  Easy to read, yet doesn’t “talk down” to us.

    I’m glad that you posted the table of contents.  It even includes my favorite chapter, “Chapter 1: What is a Firewall”  :evil:

    Did the publisher tell you when they are putting the PDF online?

  • Hi Baldrick,

    I agree that having an electronic copy of the book is great for searching, which is why it is available for download for free once you register your book online with the publisher. I didn’t see it posted yet so I sent off an e-mail to Customer Service to make sure it gets up there.

    Also, yes I did work on the SSG book as well, I’m glad you liked it.

    And as far as a Table of Contents, I hadn’t seen one online either so I created a PDF and put it up on my personal page. It was way too long to post here.

    Thanks for the comments, I hope you like this book as much, if not more, than the SSG book.


  • Books are great. You can skim read them when in a hurry, quickly turn to a favourite page, use post its. Pdfs do have the advantage of the “search” feature though however I miss the touchie feelie of a book.

    Neil did you work on the Netscreen & SSG book as well? We have it and it’s a great help. It’s great to see a book on the SSL Box. I was looking for one.

    Anyway my question to Neil is there any chance you could post a Chapter/Contents list here? See what we will be getting?


  • AGT, it means there’s an extra chapter. All of the intended information is in there.

  • Well -the advantage of the ORIGINAL Juniper Admin Manuals for Secure Access appliances to me is that it is available in my home language (german).
    It was and is a good resource to me, and its a good translation (not like the awfull microsoft robot-translations you can find in microsoft knowledgebase).
    I was able to configure nearly everything without any problems, what surprised me very often - the very few things i did not understand, i was able to fix with little help of the (very competent and fast) Juniper Secure Access Support Team.

    But i would like to have a look at this new book, when i find some time.

  • So, is the correct intro in the shipping version?  Or is it online somewhere?
    Or do we just get a free firewall into chapter?