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on March 20, 2011
First, to be honest, I specifically bought and read this book right before my vcap4-dcd test. I was a little fuzzy in a few areas, and it gave me the detailed technical information I needed.

Overall great summaries and details of most areas impacting your vsphere infrastructure design decisions, from a third-party point of view you won't get from the vendor docs and reference designs. I will be referencing this book often for my own design decisions and for better understanding of ones made in existing and reference designs.

Very helpful for anyone who wishes to improve their vsphere design skill and technical knowledge.
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on April 4, 2011
If you're looking for a book to give you the building blocks of how to design a virtual infrastructure using VMware vSphere, then "VMware vSphere Design" written by Forbes Guthrie, Scott Lowe and Maish Saidel-Keesing is a great start.

I've found myself in a plethora of VMware and virtualization books lately and as this one arrived at my door I was excited to dig in and gain more ideas when it comes to designing virtual infrastructures specifically using VMware. The first chapter covers functional requirements and design specifications which are essential to any project. I enjoyed that the authors took time away from technical aspects of VMware to discuss the finer points of design and how important these can be to a sustainable and successful design.

After the first chapter, the authors dig into designing a detailed thorough VMware infrastructure. While I feel my grasp of design with regard to VMware and virtual infrastructures are solid, I was pleasantly surprised to find many areas in the book that made me think twice about how I would design a system or helped to reinforce my current designs. I felt chapters 2-7 were good but jam packed technically which pulled away from the center of focus which was design. Chapters 8-11 then refocused with emphasis on design and really drove home the main points of design you need to be aware of when building virtual infrastructures.

The technical information in the book is similar to what I've read recently in other VMware centered books however, I feel the authors succeeded in the overall content of the book being focused on design. I would recommend this book to anyone taking on additional design/architecture roles within their organization and anyone studying for the VCAP-DCA/DCD.
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on April 13, 2011
I received this book via Kindle loan for 14 days, of which I only needed about 12 to get through it. Mind, that is not because the content was light, far from it. It was because the book did the following things:

1) Taught me a few new things
2) Made me think about the way things are done... to question the "why's" behind certain design decisions
3) Made me pop open Google (more than a few times) to dig in deeper about a topic.

Chapter one, where the design process is laid out calls out the importance of having an operational component in your vSphere design. This is an area that often doesn't get much focus, so it was good to see it called out. Chapter 9, Designing for Security, is also a key component and "Risk Scenario" based approach was excellent and my only wish here, is that the chapter would have come sooner, or been integrated as a component into each chapter. There were a few spots where some of the recommendations were dated, but this is a risk you run into with any published material. I would also have liked to see more vApp coverage.
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on January 22, 2012
I first purchased this book upon several recommendations when I asked what to study for the VCAP-DCD test. Upon reading this book you will learn vSphere basics, advanced theories, ways to design a vSphere environment and the right way to design a vSphere environment.

This book is very vSphere-centric but also contains Network and Storage concepts that will pertain to any environment.

The book is a very easy read and is not just a technical how-to reference. The images contained in the book clearly display exactly what is being referenced, so you do not have to search through your vSphere environment to figure out what the author is talking about.

My favorite chapter is the last one. I wish there were more examples of a pseudo company designing a vSphere environment.

Scott Lowe books are always spot on, this wasn't my first Scott Lowe read, and it won't be the last!
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on July 6, 2012
I'm fairly new to working in a Virtualized infrastructure and that includes VMware. I've gone through the VCP class and learned a lot of valuable information. I've also skimmed through a few books, but everything is so focused specifically on what each feature in VMware does and not necessarily how to plan, design, and implement a proper setup. This book really provides an amazing amount of information and recommendations without being bias. It teaches you best practices and gives you the "why" behind it. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone new to VMware, Virtualization, or planning a Virtualization project.

The only one thing that brought my rating down to 4 stars from 5 is that it hasn't been updated to vSphere 5 and so some of the information is slightly off. One example is configuring iSCSI port binding, which can now be done purely via the GUI.

In any case it's a great book and I highly recommend it.
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on January 21, 2012
Read this book as part of my VCAP-DCD preparation and was glad that I did. The information provided in this book are a great second resource for your VCAP-DCD prep. My first recommendation would be the VMware Design class as it teaches you specifically the terminology and thought process VMware expects its advanced design folks to know. This book also touches on those items clearly and will serve quite well for you if you are not able to take the course.

The only difficulty with a book like this is that when making decision on a design the phrase "it depends" will crop up every step of the way. The authors do a pretty good job of pointing you in the right direction so that you can intelligently migrate from "it depends" to "this is what should be done here" This is extremely important in any design scenario. As such, I highly recommend this book if you're looking to increase your knowledge about VMware vSphere design.
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on December 8, 2013
Everything in this book can be found in free documentation from VMware or other vendors. At this point, it is quite dated as it references ESX classic which is not in production any more. If you can get a good price on it, it would be a good intro to vSphere design as the information is consolidated from other sources.
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on May 6, 2012
Scott Lowe's writing style is so good, that reading a technical book like vSphere Design, seems more like reading a spellbinding novel.

The book is written from practical experience, and not like the normal administration/user/'how to' guides found on company's websites, albeit VMware's guides are by far the best of the bunch.

This book is a MUST HAVE for any person who is going to or is busy implementing VMware.

Kudos to Scott and his co-authors for a great book.
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on October 9, 2011
This is a good book but it wasn't the right book for me as i was looking for VCAP-DCD study material.
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on June 28, 2011
This book challenges you to think about your existing and future vSphere 4.x and vCenter environments. It does so with numerous real life examples and use cases. If you are just getting started with a new vSphere/vCenter implementation I would highly recommend this book. And if you have an existing environment I would encourage you to grab a copy a read through as it will show you areas that you may not have completely thought out in your design or it may help you in a design you inherited from someone else.

While this book is not a comprehensive discourse on working toward your VCAP-DCA or VCAP-DCD or even the VCDX I think that it will help anyone working toward these certifications. Knowledge is power and in a virtual world we can always use more power!

@VirtSecurity
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