VMware Cookbook (O’Reilly Media)

I’ve spent the last week or so doing a technical review on a book to be released later this year from O’Reilly Media. The book, titled “VMware Cookbook“, is authored by Ryan Troy and Matthew Helmke. Both are heavily involved in the Ubuntu Linux community and have written several articles that have been published in various Linux magazines.

This book is all about VMware’s enterprise products: ESX, ESXi, a bit of Virtual Center (vCenter), as well as content on the newly released vSphere. So those looking for information on VMware’s Workstation, Fusion, or free Server product need not apply.

That being said, this book is a must have for anyone responsible for implementing and/or maintaining an ESX environment. It is chock full of tips, tricks, and how-to’s gleaned from real world experience, most of which provide detailed step-by-step instructions. There are cookbook style “recipes” included for just about major topic within ESX: installation, networking, resource management, security, storage, and a huge section of miscellaneous tips.

What I really enjoy about this book is the mix of recipes using the command line as well as the vCenter client. We’re not talking just a “man page” for a command – these are practical example uses of ESX commands – all in an easy to follow format.

I don’t know about you, but I find it cumbersome to weed through four or five 300-page manuals trying to find information on how to perform a specific task (and worse, having bits and pieces of information scattered throughout all of them). This book pulls some of those pieces together to address real-world scenarios that we as systems administrators and engineers are faced with on a regular and sometimes not-so-regular basis.

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