J. L. Tympanum writes "After many years as a star programmer, I have taken a position which involves maintaining and rebuilding the in-house network of a small company. There are maybe 100 machines, a mix of blade servers running Linux and desktop PCs running Windows of all flavors. Basically, I have to learn networking from scratch. I have been given an 'unlimited' budget to buy routers, switches, etc., to set up my own little test network as part of the learning process. So the question is: what's the right strategy here? What routers or switches or other equipment should I acquire? What books should I read? Should I take classes from Cisco, Global Knowledge, my local community college, or somewhere else?"