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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any VMware installations
Let me start off by saying that this book has opened my eyes to VMware. I work for a corporation that has VMware implemented in the organization, and I can tell you that the corporation would have spent less money and time if only we had read this book sooner. Don't let the size of this book full you. It is jam packed with in the field knowledge of what not to do and why...
Published on October 26, 2011 by computerTech

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, a little outdated in parts
I was kinda surprised that this was released in September 2011. It seems like it was not updated to include changes in vSphere 5.0 (released for beta in summer of 2011) or even vSphere 4.1 (released in summer of 2010). Specifically, some of the changes to CPU scheduling that have loosened the limitation on single vCPU VMs. Many applications released in the last two years...
Published on February 19, 2012 by Deadtired78


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, a little outdated in parts, February 19, 2012
This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
I was kinda surprised that this was released in September 2011. It seems like it was not updated to include changes in vSphere 5.0 (released for beta in summer of 2011) or even vSphere 4.1 (released in summer of 2010). Specifically, some of the changes to CPU scheduling that have loosened the limitation on single vCPU VMs. Many applications released in the last two years will perform very poorly if placed in a single vCPU VM. Even some roles of Server 2008 struggle with a single core.

The author also goes off on "large single array" SAN configurations. The problem he is discussing (insufficient IOP capabilities) is very real but his blaming it all on single large array configurations is a false conclusion. It's ironic that a "virtualization expert" doesn't see the benefits of storage virtualization, or the waste in traditional array configurations that he seems to prefere. The real issue is people not evaluating their IO needs and purchasing insufficient hardware to meet those needs and growth. More dedicated array configurations have their place in very high IO applications, but to paint "large single array" configurations as a problem is inaccurate and is an argument I usually here from old SAN administrators afraid of losing their jobs.

Overall, this book is mostly a condensed version of the recommendations that VMware makes in their various vSphere documentation manuals and best practice white papers. I could see this book definitely having value to an administrator new to virtualization, but that administrator also needs to do some additional research to get more up to date information.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any VMware installations, October 26, 2011
This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
Let me start off by saying that this book has opened my eyes to VMware. I work for a corporation that has VMware implemented in the organization, and I can tell you that the corporation would have spent less money and time if only we had read this book sooner. Don't let the size of this book full you. It is jam packed with in the field knowledge of what not to do and why! It is an easy read, not like picking up a stereo installation guide. When you read this, you actually can feel the presence of the author in the real world experience scenarios and can relate. Like I said a must read, well worth the price for the book in the time and savings you will achieve.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential book for any VMware admin, April 26, 2012
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Jeremy (Tacoma, WA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
I purchased this book after reading various reviews, and I have to say I am very happy with my decision. This book covered a lot of key pieces you don't find in your normal administrator guides. I highly recommend anyone who is serious about virtualization and VMware to add this book to your tool-set. My background is 25 years of IT and working with customers and various different environments which also involved deploying and supporting VMware environments. Larry has a lot of gems hidden in this book people need to know to complete a successful deployment but also support it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive and needs more content, May 31, 2012
This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
As other people have mentioned the book is good if you are new to or have little experience of VMware.
I enjoyed the pace and narrative of the text (ignoring the spelling and grammatical errors)

Despite this there are quite a number of negative points. For me personally I found very little in the way of anything new.

I would have liked more on performance metrics. Whilst %Ready is important why not expand the section with other metrics? Perhaps giving examples and explaining what they represent.
I realise there is not always a magic number that applies to everyone but at least an expansion on this would have been nice, the book certainly needed more content.

Having read other VMware books (700+ pages book costing less) much of what is in here is also in these books; this book is simply way over-priced and too short. Disappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Few good hints, but analyzed very superficially, September 18, 2012
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This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
I read the book and I was quite disappointed: only few good hints, repeated, repeated, a lot of times just to ... reach little more than 100 pages.

Also every argument was analyzed very superficially, without really diving in technical explanations could help reader to better understand them, and to better use them on the field.

Not enough interesting to be a book to be bought.

The idea was good; but whole book need to be rewrote from scratch, with more information, and going more in deep about technically issues and explanations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Target Market is new vSphere Administrators, July 13, 2012
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This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
I selected this book based on some of the reviews and was looking forward to reading this book. I work as a VMware/Storage/Network consultant in the SMB market.

This book is targeted towards individuals that are still very new to Virtualization and VMware in particular. I was under the impression that this book would tackle more advanced issues and means of detection such as SAN path-thrashing or virtual machine performance analysis. This book does not go into depth for these types of issues.

That being said, this book does go over a number of common mistakes individuals new to virtualization often make such as over-allocation of resources, confusing space with IOPS, expanding the subnet instead of creating more networks using VLANs/routers/ACLs, placing management in the same network as clients, etc. I did think that Mr. Loucks did a good explanation of CPU RDY time for this target audience. The actual whitepapers on this topic, for example, [...], are extremely deep, much deeper than most individuals in this target audience will need/want to get. Other than storage issues, this is the most common mistake I see by some of the clients I have worked with in my career.

I agree with another reviewer about this book feeling dated. It was not updated for 4.1 or higher for the chapter on memory as there is no mention of memory compression or swap to SSD. The copyright renewal of 2011 appears to have been just a renewal with potentially a few small revisions. Also, Mr. Loucks has a strong opinion on thin-provisioning and separating workloads on different spindles. While I agree to some extent most notably about people who buy their storage solely on capacity without any IOPS analysis - you should always review the best practices of the storage manufacturer. Your storage should be on the VMware HCL for all production workloads. All mainstream manufacturers (NetApp/EMC/Compellent/HP/etc) have dedicated whitepapers on VMware best practices that are specific to the array model and the connectivity in place - iSCSI/FC/NFS. Mr. Loucks beliefs of storage appear that he has a lot of familiar with traditional (legacy) storage designs. Although the book doesn't list names, I was given an impression that he has worked with a lot of EMC gear before the migration to virtualized storage. Leading manufacturers virtualize storage as a way to manage IOPS in the array and to save both capex and opex costs. Automated Storage Tiering (EMC VNX/Compellent) and the Virtual Storage Tier (NetApp) are all valid approaches to dealing with IOPS issues while decreasing the need for large numbers of SSD/15K SAS drives. As a bonus, this simplifies management and reduces operating expenditures. Only the largest clients will have a team of dedicated storage administrators. True, you will create pools for different workload needs. A Tier I application at a Fortune 500 company will not be anywhere near my other applications. In many designs, all virtual machines will run in the same storage and this isn't a design flaw. You still need to size IOPS appropriately. Never build your design around space - nearly all smart arrays will either deduplicate/thin-provision/compress or they will demote cold data to slower storage, allowing you to get more data on your faster spindles.

In summary, I think this book, while dated, is useful to a system administrator who has to wear a lot of caps in his environment - network, application, systems, storage, and virtualization administration. This book will provide less value to vSphere administrators.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for anyone planning a virtualization project, April 26, 2012
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This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
In the interest of full disclosure, let me start by saying I have known Larry for more than 15 years. I consider Larry a great friend and have enjoyed working with him on a number of projects. I can tell you without reservation or hesitation that he knows more about virtualization (and network security, storage, routing & switching and network design) than anyone I know.

His book, Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid, is a must have for beginners and experts alike. I highly recommend it. I'm certain adding this book to your IT library or as a desktop reference will turn out to be one of the best investments you've ever made in your continuing technology education.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I would have read this BEFORE an interview..., December 23, 2011
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This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
I have been working with VMWare for a while in my work environment, and had an interview with a company I was hoping to get into. I had covered Mastering VMware vSphere 5

http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-VMware-vSphere-Scott-Lowe/dp/0470890800/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324670799&sr=1-1

which is also a good book, however you can tell that "Critical VMWare Mistakes you should avoid" was written by WORKING people in the field. This book has shined light on issues we have been having in our production environment, and directly addresses some of the questions that were asked of me on an interview "that sadly I didn't get". If I would have read this book before the interview I think I would have gotten the position.

For every one who's trying to take that "next step" in their VMWare career path this is a wonderful book to start you on that direction. I did notice some of the proof reading issues mentioned by other reviewers, but honestly I don't care. It's clear this book was written by a working IT professional, and lets be honest documenting any thing isn't our strong suit.

This is a must read any one looking to get into VMWare virtualization, or seeking to weed out problems in their VMWare deployment. I particularly liked the chapters on SAN/NAS, and CPU configuration.

Wonderful book for the working professional.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book w/ Excellent Info; More Proofreading Needed, September 21, 2011
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This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
I am about halfway through this book and have found it to be easy reading, with great advice on a number of common pitfalls. I was a bit surprised to hear the author mention how himself and other senior VMware consultants never recommend thin-provisioning. Something to definitely think about. My only disappointment so far with this book is the obvious need of better proofreading. I have found numerous mistakes in the book, which really should have been taken care of prior to print. That is a bit disappointing - given the price for a book so thin.

If you are interested in avoiding common pitfalls in designing your virtual environment, this is a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Obviously built from extensive experience, August 9, 2012
This review is from: Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid (Paperback)
My office is at the "done with virtualizing the easy servers, now let's throw some real work at it" phase of virtualization and our systems team had a lot of questions about the specifics of ESXi. We read a lot of PDFs from VMWare and learned a lot of things (that were echoed in this book), but I like this book because it cuts to the chase, attacks the biggest questions and the most common problems, but not without bogging down into super technical land. Super technical is good (and the author includes a few resources to dig deeper in the text), but when you're just starting out, you don't need it.

In general the book is pretty basic and most of the advice seems pretty intuitive, but I'm certainly glad to avoid learning a lot of the lessons outlined in this book thanks to hindsight -- I'd rather have a hunch you probably should do something some way and be proven right. That's where this book excelled for me: it predicted a lot of the situations we were already in, predicted a lot of the approaches we were taking and going to take, and then validated what we were thinking about doing or sent us in a new direction. There were no "wow, we almost screwed up big time" moments for us yet, but there are definitely some practices I will be implementing directly from this book (particularly regarding CPUs).

In a future edition I'd like to see: 1) a much more extensive bibliography or "further reading" section, 2) less repetition -- some sections are copy/paste (less than 2% of the book) and this isn't needed, and some of the points are reviewed needlessly in like 2-3 sentences, 3) no harmless typos! I found a "cast" that should have been a "case", some minorly annoying font/indenting misuse, and a few very minor formatting errors (not enough newlines kind of stuff).

Overall I highly recommend this book to any shop or any admin that wants to spend a couple hours learning their VMWare setup better. I count about 20 page-markers after my reading of it, and I left about a dozen notes inside of it for other people when they read it. And it is good even if you are already totally virtualized, because the author points out several problems that tend to lurk unnoticed.
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Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid
Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid by Larry Loucks (Paperback - September 1, 2011)
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