Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Xen to a new level with this practical book, February 6, 2010
This review is from: The Book of Xen: A Practical Guide for the System Administrator (Paperback)
The Book of Xen (TBOX) is a great book for Linux system administrators who want to deploy Xen. The authors ground their recommendations in over four years of experience running Xen to support Internet-facing virtual private servers. I found their writing style to be very engaging; it reminded me of reading any one of Michael Lucas' No Starch books. If you know your way around Linux and want to deploy Xen in production, TBOX is the book for you.

About two years ago I read and reviewed Professional Xen Virtualization by William Von Hagen. That book spends more time guiding the reader through the concept of virtualization, and tends to cover system administration from a wider angle than TBOX. In contrast, TBOX treats the reader more as a professional sys admin who wants to apply his or her skill set to Xen. TBOX does spend some time discussing Xen internals, and I found the depth of that discussion just right for this book. Other books discuss Xen internals to a greater degree, so there was no need to repeat material here.

TBOX does tend to focus on running Linux domU on a Linux dom0. This is not surprising given the lesser maturity and popularity of other options, specifically as dom0. Ch 8 does cover Solaris and NetBSD, and Ch 13 is devoted to Windows as domU. As support for Xen matures I expect a second edition of TBOX to address other combinations of operating systems as dom0 and domU.

TBOX is unique thanks to the sections on profiling and benchmarking (Ch 10), "tips" (Ch 14), and troubleshooting (Ch 15). I appreciate when authors of technical books share lessons and tricks from their own shops. I am also a big fan of their writing style and attempts at humor. This could easily have been a very dry technical book, but TBOX is entertaining from the start. Great work!
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