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Critical VMware Mistakes You Should Avoid Paperback – September 1, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

In this book, we've not tried to describe the most technically complex VMware problems, simply the most common. The principles of virtualization described herein are designed to allow virtual administrators improve performance of the environment they already by eliminating common misconfigurations and mistakes. In the past 10 years I've spoken with thousands of virtualized customers. These problems are the ones I hear about time and time again. If you are able to identify and eliminate even a single performance problem in your environment as a result of reading this book, our goal will have been accomplished in writing it. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Larry Loucks is a former VMware Senior Consultant and Instructor. He also serves as a corporate presenter for one of the largest software companies in the world and is a renowned expert on virtualization and disaster recovery.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Brio Press (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937061981
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937061982
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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