VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive book review

After procrastinating for months I finally headed over to amazon.com and purchased Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman’s VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive.  The Kindle Edition of the book was only just over $7 and to be perfectly honest I initially didn’t want to pay that.  Having now read through 3/4 of the book I couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

Epping and Denneman have three different editions of the book available on amazon.com for purchase.  The original edition was written for vSphere 4.1 with the subsequent two editions written for 5 and 5.1.  The vSphere 4.1 edition is selling for 99 cents and vSphere 5 edition for $4.99.

My initial hesitation in purchasing the book was because I knew most of the information was already out there on the net.  I’ve done a lot of work with HA and DRS.  I follow both Epping’s and Denneman’s blogs.  VMware have lots of papers on the subjects.  But herein lies the issue.  The information is all over the place.  Clustering Deepdive, on the other hand, provides one central source of information.  It provides a really good strong foundation of how these core features work along with all the various elements VMware utilise behind the scenes to make them work.

While I haven’t completed reading the book yet.  I wouldn’t classify the book as an instruction manual to implement HA and DRS.  You’re still going to need to read some VMware tech guides, play around with the product and get your hands dirty first.  Once you have those fundamentals this book is only going to help you better understand the features and better implement them in practice.  Leading on from that and for the season veterans you’ll then gain a strong understanding of how the technologies work under the covers and really take your knowledge to the next level.

An excellent book and well worth the money for the latest edition.  There’s also been enough changes in HA and DRS over previous vSphere versions that if you’re running old vSphere platforms you might well consider purchasing the other editions of the book as well.   There’s plenty of screenshots throughout the book as references and some well designed diagrams to rap your head around how these features work.

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