- Series: VMware Press Technology
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: VMware Press; 1 edition (March 31, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0133511081
- ISBN-13: 978-0133511086
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Networking for VMware Administrators (VMware Press Technology) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Chris Wahl has acquired more than a decade of IT experience in enterprise infrastructure design, implementation, and administration. He has provided architectural and engineering expertise in a variety of virtualization, data center, and private cloud-based engagements while working with high performance technical teams in tiered data center environments. He currently holds the title of Senior Technical Architect at Ahead, a consulting firm based out of Chicago. Chris holds well over 30 active industry certifications, including the rare VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX #104), and is a recognized VMware vExpert. He also works to give back to the community as both an active “Master” user and moderator of the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) and as a Leader of the Chicago VMware User Group (VMUG). As an independent blogger for the award winning “Wahl Network,” Chris focuses on creating content that revolves around virtualization, converged infrastructure, and evangelizing products and services that benefit the technology community. Over the past several years, he has published hundreds of articles and was voted the “Favorite Independent Blogger” by vSphere-Land for 2012. Chris also travels globally to speak at industry events, provide subject matter expertise, and offer perspectives as a technical analyst.
Steve Pantol has spent the last 14 years wearing various technical hats, with the last seven or so focused on assorted VMware technologies. He holds numerous technical certifications and is working toward VCDX—if only to stop Wahl from lording it over him. He is a Senior Technical Architect at Ahead, working to build better data centers and drive adoption of cloud technologies.
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BLUF: There isn't much content here for a VMware Administrator. Even less for Engineer or Architect-level folks.
vCNS/vShield isn't mentioned. VXLANs aren't mentioned. SDN isn't mentioned, which I can understand since this is an Administrative guide, but NSX wasn't mentioned either. The scope of this book really is limited to just vSphere.
Chapters 1-6: Could have been cut and paste out of any networking 101 or Wikipedia article on networking basics. Other than passing mention of Nutanix's hyper-converged platform, these chapters offer little value to either a networking admin or a VMware admin.
Chapter 7 (How Virtual Switching Differs from Physical Switching): Useful for someone unfamiliar with VMware.
Chapters 8-10: Light on content, other than definitions of very basic concepts like what a VLAN is, what a VMkernel Port is, etc. At this point we're 135pgs into the book and we haven't touched a single thing that a low-level administrator (network or otherwise) can't rattle off in his sleep.
To say I'm disappointed is an understatement, but maybe we can still have some redemption in the second half of the book.
Chapter 11 (Lab Scenario): More definitions, a screen grab of the VLANs from UCS manager, and a picture of the summary tab of an ESXi 5.5 host, taken from the web client. Is this to prove that the authors have access to a server? I don't understand why they are wasting so many pages saying NOTHING!
Chapter 12 (Standard vSwitch Design): Importance of establishing naming conventions, and building a standard vSwitch that will carry all management and virtual machine traffic using 4 portgroups and 2 NICs. There is also mention of the VMkernel port req'd for NFS traffic. More on these topics later in the book though.
Chapter 13 (vDS design): Worthwhile chapter on how to build a distributed vSwitch.
Chapters 14 and 15 (iSCSI considerations): Definitions and basic configuration. Nothing new here.
Chapters 16 & 17 (NFS overview): Good chapters on how VMware handles NFS traffic and how to do a basic configuration.
Chapter 18 (additional vSwitch Design Scenarios): vSwitch design suggestions for hosts that have more than 2 physical NICs.
Chapter 19 (Multi-NIC vMotion Architecture): Interesting chapter on a concept I don't often think about.
End of the book.
Given that the breakdown of parts and chapters of this book are available everywhere, I won’t bore you with that detail. Instead, I’ll just give you my thoughts on the different parts and why I think this is one of the must have books (if you’re into these sort of books, of course!)
First part consists of 6 chapters and goes through the basics of Physical Networking. If you are new to networking, this is a good place to start as it covers all the prerequisite knowledge that one must have to understand the rest of the book. It also serves as a refresher for people who are experienced in networking but for whom, it’s not their day-to-day job. The conversation starts with light-hearted layman level discussion of how networks came into existence, then slowly builds up to explain the different layers and finishes with a discussion on “Converged Infrastructure”. I think, this is required knowledge to appreciate the subtle differences between physical and virtual networking. Armed with that knowledge, one is ready to delve into the VMware side of things.
Second part consists of 7 chapters and discusses virtual networking in a vSphere environment. The first few chapters discuss the two main types of networking switches (“Standard” and “Distributed”), where they match or differ as compared to physical switches and the configuration options available for both. Throughout those chapters, there is also a brief discussion on the various configuration options and where certain options might be applicable (or not). Things are explained with the help of a “Lab Scenario”, which uses a Cisco UCS environment as an example. The last two chapters, discuss designing a network environment around a Standard or Distributed switch. It’s nice to see a book still discussing designing around a Standard switch as not everyone has Enterprise Plus licensing or might have a mixture within their environment.
Third part consists of four chapters and focusses on the two types of IP Storage supported by vSphere environments: iSCSI and NFS. There are two chapters for each type, discussing use cases and then going on to design considerations and configuration. For iSCSI, there is quite a bit of detail in terms of the components that make up iSCSI, Authentication, Initiators/Targets, Adapters, Jumbo Frames etc. That is followed by a chapter on a design using iSCSI storage. NFS discussion carries on with the same theme but it being NFS, it’s more about exports, daemons and mount points etc. In the same way as iSCSI, this chapter is followed by another, discussing a design based on NFS storage. In both cases, the chapters cover the configuration steps as well so one can see practically how those steps are carried out, to achieve that particular configuration.
Finally, there is part four, consisting of just two chapters. The first one covers some vSwitch Design Scenarios. This chapter covers pretty much all the different configurations, big or small, that one would probably encounter in the real world. If by chance a use case is missed, I am sure one can tackle that easily, having absorbed all this information. The second chapter discusses “Multi-NIC vMotion Architecture” and design considerations. It also quite helpfully discusses how a combination of NIOC (Network I/O Control) and egress traffic shaping can protect such an environment from drowning out a particular destination host. Finally, it goes into how to properly configure such a setup.
The whole book is written in a light-hearted conversational manner and doesn’t feel like heavy reading at all – unlike typical networking books. Like I mentioned before, all topics are accompanied with a healthy dose of discussion on why certain options are suitable or not and with plenty of screenshots too! I also discovered the word “schlep” (something I doubt I’ll find in any other technical book) and that “warm and fuzzies” are pretty important when it comes to VMware networking.
For people starting with VMware products, this is a must have as it will give them a solid foundation of networking concepts and how to configure vSphere networking properly. It also does a great job of bridging the gap that exists for people coming from traditional physical networking backgrounds.