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Showing 1-10 of 60 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 89 reviews
on November 5, 2016
4.5 stars - 5 because it's great, 4 because it's a little out of date. This is a good book that gets you into the mindset of creating repeatable installations, and systems that are relatively easy to deploy. 90 minute to full day operations can be scripted to become 1-hour, hands-off installations and deployments. Small network-based deployments can be turned into larger virtual-machine-based deployments. With the rise of containerization and automated provisioning, this book reads a little bit dated, but is an important part of the library.
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on July 13, 2017
Ten years after writing this book, some of the authors collaborated on _The_Devops_Handbook_. I love _The_Devops_Handbook. This book is completely superceded by _The_Devops_Handbook_, which is also more modern and makes a better case. Do not waste your time reading this book.
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on October 12, 2012
This is a well written book for anybody tasked with getting IT operations running in a highly effective and efficient manner. I would rate this a must buy as it provides a short and sweet set of ideas that will help you get started even in the most challenged of IT operational sites. This book is easily 5-stars, but the Kindle version had so many typos that it became difficult to read at points. On a limited size Kindle page, there would often be 2-3 clearly misspelled words. Amazon or whoever is taking the hard copy books and creating these Kindle books should get its act together. It makes me wonder how many more books I will buy via Kindle.
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on September 14, 2008
Visible Ops contains some good - though oft repeated - insight and information regarding ITIL and infrastructure support by consultants who have obviously spent some time in the trenches. Its premise is based on Gartner research stating that 80% of unplanned downtime is caused by people and process issues and 80% of the time spent in resolving downtime is unproductive and there are systems administration principles and activities that can mitigate. The problem with Visible Ops is that the volume of content warrants a whitepaper, yet the authors seemingly add filler to justify the $22 sales price.

The authors are one of the first to offer in print some solutions for infrastructure support that validate what IT infrastructure managers have been doing for years. The ideas of rebuild v. repair, "source control" of infrastructure builds, repeatable infrastructure build processes are right on. Yet instead of case studies and further exploration, we get multiple pages of testimonials, a forward, an introduction, a multiple-page TOC, a mere 40 pages of content which include repetition, constant summarization, and more testimonials, and 30 pages of appendices of largely copyrighted and incomplete material. As a final insult, there are ads on the front and back covers. At least one of the authors sells tools to remedy some of the problems mentioned in "Visible Ops" and it seems he is hedging his bets by charging for materials that should be marketing and product literature.

Why not give more detailed examples and case studies, expound on the CMDB, give some ideas on organizing builds or address other ITIL areas? This is *great* stuff here, but I feel like it has been cheapened. Regardless, I recommend "Visible Ops" because it addresses common and significant problems and solutions that are rarely addressed elsewhere.
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on January 7, 2010
After 15 years as a professional system administrator and manager, I thought I had seen all the good books on the subject, but I have never before seen a short summary of what usually goes wrong and how to fix your processes so that things stop breaking. This book is invaluable to getting everyone rowing in the same direction with understanding how and why complex computer systems break.

One of the things that is always hard to explain to both developers and management is the importance of managing change. It is almost always unplanned change that causes your major problems and Spafford explains this in a funny and accessible way. It is always a challange to "push back" at the business and make them understand the real cost of not having adequate testing and controls in place. This book really helped me both clarify your own thinking on the topic and make a good case to the developers and business owners. This book would especially be useful for someone who worked at a start-up or other unstructured environment and who didn't know where to start first.

I bought 15 copies and gave one to every programming manager at my job as well as all my direct reports. I with I had gotten more!
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on November 29, 2011
This book is an excellent resource to help someone get started down the path of implementing ITIL practices. Its strength is in illustrating potential pitfalls and what you can expect to see after implementing a particular step (e.g., if your number of documented changes decreases, you may want to start searching for unauthorized ones). If you're not familiar with the basics of ITIL, I would recommend a book/course from Art of Service or the official ITIL books to help you gain a firm understanding of the relevant terminilogy and concepts. Our company used this book as a resource during a recent ITIL change management project, and we required all IT managers to read it. Overall, the feedback was quite positive and it was great to hear people repeating anecdotes from the book in meetings.
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on August 10, 2009
I'm not huge on a one size fits all. In IT there is an exception to every rule, but The Visible Ops is something that could help any IT group. The eye opening statistic is that 80% of outages are operator induced. That's a huge number and obviously leaves a lot of room for improvement. This book goes over the basic steps that are required to stabilize and improve your data center. It's short (95) pages and offers an ITIL compliant framework for making your changes (or more specifically, stopping them from being made with out forethought). I started as a system administrator and I hate the idea of following procedures instead of "just fixing things".

Stability is what your customers look for in their computing environment as well as flexibility. Are you providing both?
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on February 1, 2011
There are a noticeable number of first and second letter swapped typos in the text. Overall message structure could have been improved as well. Tighter editing would have made this book even more compact.

I'm unsure why Jim Kimball said the Kindle edition was unreadable as it seemed fine to me.

Best parts of the book are about the characteristics of high performing organisations and the overall approach, though for a book called Visible Ops, there's not a lot on visual management. If you're thinking about improving your IT operations, this is a good place to start.
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on August 9, 2009
The information contained in this book is important. As an example, the book quotes Stephen Elliot, Senior Analyst with Interactive Data Corporation (IDC) as showing that on average 80% of IT system outages are caused by operator and application errors. The authors present many highly standardized and effective methods to control and continuously improve software systems. The topics discussed include issues and indicators, specific steps to solve issues, audible controls and many helpful hints. I highly recommend this book to engineers and Lean Six Sigma professionals, who are team members for IT development projects, are working on IT systems which need to be integrated within their process workflows or for quality assurance applications.
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on May 10, 2016
Solid steps to take if you are considering ITIL procedures, gives practical steps and achievable goals. Smaller book, things you should be doing.
it a here is what you should be doing or something like this.
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