Posts Tagged ‘Books’

VMware VI3 Implementation and Administration

January 11th, 2010

I recently finished reading the book VMware VI3 Implementation and Administration by Eric Siebert (ISBN-13: 978-0-13-700703-5).  VMware VI3 Implementation and Administration was a very enjoyable read. I don’t mean to sound cliché but for me it was one of those books that is hard to put down. Released in May of 2009, along with the next generation of VMware IV (vSphere), the timing of its arrival to market probably could have been better, but better late than never. Datacenters will be running on VI3 for quite some time. With that in mind, this book provides a tremendous amount of value and insight. I can tell that Eric put a lot of time and research into this book; the quality of the content shows. Much of the book was review for me, but I was still able to pick up bits and pieces here and there I wasn’t aware of, as well as some fresh perspective and new approaches to design, administration, and support.

To be honest and objective, I felt that Chapter 9, “Backing Up Your Virtual Environment”, lacked the completeness which all other chapters were given. A single page was dedicated to VMware Consolidated Backup with no detailed examples or demonstrations of how to use it, which would have been found throughout other chapters. To add, there was only a few sentences covering Replication which is a required component in many environments. Eric likes to discuss 3rd party solutions and this would have been a great opportunity to go into more detail or at least mention some products affordable to businesses of any size which could leverage replication solutions.

Overall, this is a great book. Eric has a no-nonsense writing style backed by decades of in the trench experience. Along with the print copy, you get a free electronic online edition as well allowing you to access the book anywhere where there is internet connectivity.  Pick up your copy today!  I thank you Eric and look forward to your upcoming vSphere book!

vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide Released on Amazon

November 23rd, 2009

What a great way to kick off the new week – The highly anticipated book, vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide: Shortcuts down the path of Virtualization, has arrived at! I look at this new release as the 2nd edition or vSphere edition of RapidApp’s Quick Start Guide to ESX 3.0 which is still available and was a huge success.

The vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide was written by a lineup of new authors who are well known rock stars in the virtualization community: Bernie Baker, Thomas Bryant, Duncan Epping, Dave Mischenko, Stewart Radnidge, and Alan Renouf. I obtained a preview copy of this book at VMworld 2009 in San Francisco and I can tell you that this it is absolutely amazing. Nowhere else will you find as much information in such a small and convenient footprint. Its small size allows you to put it in your pocket and take it virtually anywhere: On the plane, on the bus, into a meeting, or into the datacenter. As with the first edition, there are several blank pages in this book which allow you space to write down notes, command line information, configuration maximum changes, information about your environment, helpful URLs, etc. The authors did a great job on this book and considering the cumulative years of experience and combined expertise packed into this book, you can’t beat the price. I don’t think a better value exists. My copy has been traveling with me daily in my laptop bag. I give it two thumbs up.

VI3 ATDG Book Full Download Available 7/19/09

July 18th, 2009

I have it on good authority that the VMware Infrastructure 3 Advanced Technical Design Guide and Advanced Operations Guide book will be made fully available for download in .PDF format tomorrow. The authors over at had previously been releasing two chapters at a time (one chapter in each of the two sections of the book), but a decision has been made that the next release will include the entire book.

Watch for the release at and grab your copy. If by chance they don’t make the Sunday release date, give them a break, these authors are among the hardest working in the business. I’m sure they’ll have it up very soon.  This is a very generous contribution to the virtualization community as the book is only about a year old.  Kudos to Scott Herold, Ron Oglesby, and Mike Laverick.

VMGURU to release 4 chapters of VI3 book today

February 10th, 2009

Scott Herold of and co-author of the book VMware Infrastructure 3: Advanced Technical Design Guide and Advanced Operations Guide has announced today the release of four of the book’s chapters in PDF format today.

I’ve read the previous version of this book a few years ago and I’m in the middle of reading the current version.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.  It is worth it’s weight in gold and the fact that the authors are going to begin giving it away for free to the virtualization community is baffling to me but yet at the same time it is a symbol of their generosity and commitment to providing the community with top notch technical and operations detail on VMware virtual infrastructure.

Generally speaking, many technical authors don’t make a pile of money writing books.  Be sure to thank the authors Ron Oglesby, Scott Herold, and Mike Laverick for their hard work and generosity.

More information about this book can be found here and here.  Stay tuned to for the official release of these chapters which should happen sometime today.

What I’m reading

December 31st, 2008

What I’m reading:

VMware Infrastructure 3:  Advanced Technical Design Guide and Advanced Operations Guide by Scott Herold, Ron Oglesby (formerly of GlassHouse, now with Dell, and bench presser of Lord knows how many pounds), and Mike Laverick. ISBN:  978-0971151086.

Ok, the truth is I’ve had the pre-release Author’s Edition of this book since February of 2008 and I had read a few chapters, but I haven’t read the final copy cover to cover like a book of this calibre warrants.  I picked up the final copy in September 2008 just before VMworld 2008.  If the author names sound familiar to you, well, they should.  Oglesby and Herold wrote the earlier version of this book a few years ago and it was dynamite!  Laverick joins the duo as a VMware Infrastructure expert, VMware instructor, proprietor of RTFM Eduction, plus extensive Citrix experience (the man has paid his dues).  Lately, Laverick has been on a VMware Site Recovery Manager kick.  If you’re getting into SRM, definitely check out Mike’s site where you’ll find valuable information plus the first and only book I’m aware of dedicated to SRM.

Expectations:  Advanced concepts.  Tips and tricks I won’t find in VMware documentation.  Real world scenarios from the datacenter and classroom.  At just over 800 pages, I would have been able to devour this in a week or less in my younger days.  With a busy family and work life, I expect I’ll be chipping away at this book for a good month or more.  But it’s not a race.  What’s important is understanding and retention of the concepts.  I’m thinking about the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification soon and hopefully this book will help in those studies.

What I’m watching:

VMware ESX Server training by Trainsignal.  Iman Jalali (Director of Sales and Support, Trainsignal) contacted me via Twitter and asked if I’d like to review a copy of Trainsignal’s latest VMware ESX video training.  Are you kidding me?  Just about anything VMware related I can get my hands on is a good thing.  Jalali did not ask for a blog review or even a mention, however, I appreciate his generosity as well as the generosity of Scott Skinger (Founder/President of Trainsignal) who comped me Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 video training back in 2007.

David Davis (from this and this, among other things) is the instructor of this 18+ hour 2-DVD series.  I’ve known (of) David for a few years from my participation at the Petri IT Knowledgebase.  David has a lot of positive energy and his certifications include CCIE (I’m not worthy sharing the same Oxygen as he) and VCP.  I very much look forward to watching this series.  One thing though guys (and this goes out to all the VMware book authors too):  With the virtualization landscape evolving so quickly, the versions and configuration maximums being rasied by VMware almost quarterly, I wish you the best of luck keeping your material current!  That has to be a big challenge and somewhat of a frustration at the same time.

It is now time for my Pre-New-Years cheesecake.  As if I needed an excuse for cheesecake.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!


VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center

December 11th, 2008

I just finished reading VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center by David Marshall, Stephen S. Beaver, and Jason W. McCarty (ISBN: 978-1420070279).  If memory serves me correctly, one of the authors billed this book as “The 101 things you need to know about VMware ESX”.  I think that is a fairly accurate description.  Translation:  This is not your 800 page Advanced Technical Design Guide deep dive, however, it’s going to give you most, if not all, of the essentials using no-nonsense straight talk.  From an audience perspective, I felt it is a beginner to intermediate level book which talks in moderate detail about each of the integral components of VMware Virtual Infrastructure.  Some sections go into more advanced discussion, but not so much to the point that the book will lose the reader’s interest or accelerate beyond the intermediate level which I think is important.

It was a good read and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Some chapters were difficult to take a break from reading.  It’s one of the few books available that cover ESX 3.5 which is the current version.  One of the sections I liked is at the very beginning where they discuss the history of virtualization.  I picked up quite a bit of background information from this chapter and learned where the roots of virtualization are.  It’s hard to believe virtualization as a concept has been in existence for nearly half a century.  Another chapter I picked up quite a bit of background knowledge on is the Automating and Extensibility where they talk about the VI SDK, VI Perl Toolkit, VI Toolkit for Windows (Powershell), CIM, etc.  I’m not much of a developer and frankly these had been areas I have avoided looking into out of lack of interest.  Again, the detail level didn’t convert me into a successful developer or scripter, but it lays down a nice foundation or primer on which to build knowledge.  VMware Virtual Infrastructure beginners will enjoy the back sections of the book where several 3rd party complimentary tools are discussed as well as the appendices which contain useful charts of information such as TCP/UDP port usage, Windows to Linux command conversion chart, plus log file location and discussion.  Technically speaking, the content of the book was dead accurate.  I had only a few sections marked up with wording changes I would have made to alleviate confusion plus a bulleted list that had been copied and pasted twice.  I’ve checked with the authors to see if they are set up for taking comments and making an errata resource available.

I wouldn’t be completely honest with the pool of talented authors whom I know and respect if I did not mention that at 237 pages, I felt this book was a bit on the pricey side as I paid the full $59.95 plus tax at the VMworld 2008 bookstore.  You can find it at for a good discount and free shipping.

For those that are attending the 12/19/08 Minneapolis area VMware Users Group meeting (VMUG), I’ll be raffling off two copies of this book which were generously donated by the authors.

What I’m reading

December 1st, 2008

VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center by David Marshall, Stephen S. Beaver, and Jason W. McCarty

ISBN: 978-1420070279

I picked up this book at VMworld 2008.  Great book so far.  I’m credited on page 70 for building the lengthy ks.cfg file on display when actually I only contributed script snippets.  I didn’t write that whole thing.  My hunch is Steve Beaver wrote the majority of it.  Thanks anyways guys 🙂