I met Alan almost a year ago. He visited Hewlett Packard back then and did an awesome presentation of the SQL 2012 HA features, still in beta at that time. This guy knows his stuff. For everything that is HA or SQL Cluster, he's my preferred author and number one resource.
Other books just skip important parts or simply follow Microsoft recommendations which can or cannot be doable in real life. Even Microsoft, if I'm not mistaken, has received Allan's feedback and use it on current or future release of SQL HA features, at least that's my understanding.
The reason why Allan's books are so good is because he has performed this in real life. He not only shows the recommended Microsoft approach but explains real life scenarios too. You can only do that if you have actually done that before, because not all people have a disposable SAN at home and 100k in hardware to do testing of a SQL failover setup just for fun, it's expensive.
The book covers everything. Since Os preparation and setup to actual SQL deployment, including permissions, required accounts, step by step configuration, you name it. Even common errors and proper SAN or disk's configuration.
I've done about a dozen of SQL failover setups myself, in metal and VMware, from SQL 2000 to SQL 2012, and every time this book saved me time and headaches. I fully recommend this book to anyone that is willing to learn how to properly configure a SQL Cluster. This is not someone regurgitating Books Online but sharing real life DBA experience and stories.
The first and last word in SQL Server Clustering, and many words in between. I've never used clustering where I've worked but this book has helped me get enough grounding in it I feel comfortable going into an environment that has it.
Allan is the man! This is the best "collective" guide for SQL Server HA out there. PS. WSFC gets much better with Windows Server 2012 and Sql Server 2012 but this book still provides valuable material.
It a valuable book, answers most of the questions you might have about 2008 clustering. I just wish it was deeper on cluster design and there was a generic preparation/implementation checklist for convenience.
This superb book and his other book (Pro SQL Server 2005 High Availability) ought to be in the collection of anyone who has to work with Windows and/or SQL Server Clustering. This is one of the few references that have practical advice, field expertise and a sound understanding of the architecture explained. I've added Allan's previous book as they both provide an understanding of the topic. This book (and the 2005 tome too!) got me up to speed (I'm primarily on Unix/Oracle/DB2 after working with mainframes and AS/400 systems too) as quickly as I could ever expect to support and put together these types of systems. The subject matter is complex and could easily take up several books and Allan provides pointers to other sources to keep the book as relevant as possible. As mentioned earlier, I also recommend his other book and eagerly await for his upcoming book(s) on SQL Server 2012 high availability.
I bought the eBook version of this book from the publisher's website about two months before the official release because I needed a good clustering reference. As soon as it was released, I had my boss buy the printed version for our team to use at work.
Failover clustering is very critical to our high availability strategy, and clustering experts are in short supply. I don't expect it to make me an expert on the topic, but so far it has served me very well as my main resource for in-depth information on clustering.
I've recommended this book many times to others. I have found the information in some of the other books to be flawed and not always correct. This book is not only authoritative on the subject, but it has proven to be more accurate than the other books I've checked out or heard about.