As someone who works with VMware most everyday, I'm always on the lookout for new tips, ideas and things that make administration easier.
VMware Cookbook is organized into seven chapters that cover everything from installation to automation and much in between. The authors do a great job of explaining the nuts and bolts of core VMware functions in very understandable terms. The resource management and automation chapters were particularly useful and apply to tasks I come across frequently.
This is not a book that offers a broad reference - and doesn't claim to be; rather it offers VMware admins many, many useful tips, configuration options and excellent ways to fine-tune your systems. If you're looking beyond the basics of virutalization with VMware and want to get a better understanding of specific areas and learn more about optimizing and monitoring ESX, this is an excellent resource for you.
The VMware Cookbook is all about VMware's enterprise products: ESX, ESXi, Virtual Center, as well as content on vSphere.
This book is a must-have for anyone responsible for implementing and/or maintaining an ESX environment. It is chock full of tips, tricks, and how-to's gleaned from real world experience, most of which provide detailed step-by-step instructions. There are cookbook style recipes included for just about every major topic within ESX: installation, networking, resource management, security, storage, and a huge section of miscellaneous tips.
What I really appreciate about this book is the mix of recipes using the command line as well as the virtual center client. We're not talking just a "man page" for a command - these are practical example uses of ESX commands - all in an easy to follow format.
I find it cumbersome to weed through four or five 300-page manuals trying to find information on how to perform a specific task (and worse, having bits and pieces of information scattered throughout all of them). This book pulls those pieces together to address real-world scenarios that systems administrators and engineers are faced with on a regular and sometimes not-so-regular basis.
VMware Cookbook Ryan Troy and Matthew Helmke O'Reilly
VMware Cookbook is written in a similar fashion to what many IT professionals are accustomed to when searching the knowledge base of any vendor. It clearly states the problem, the solution and an area for discussion. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to cover every problem that an administrator will encounter when working with a virtual environment, however, this book addresses a wide array of issues and common tasks from installation to networking and general security. The book will benefit professionals who are beginning to plan their first virtual environment, as well as, those who have been working with VMware for sometime and are interested in performing more advanced level tasks. The setup of the book allows for quick reference to determine what tasks are available when administering a virtual environment. One area I would have liked to see the authors include is a general troubleshooting chapter to cover some common issues and nuances of working in a virtual environment that a new administrator may experience. Overall this book is a handy utility that any virtual administrator should have in their library for quick reference.
At this time I have no formal training on VMware, EsxCluster or iSCSI but I work with VMware Daily. I consider VMware Cookbook a must read/must have book for any system administrator that is working with VMware. The company I work for has a 6 node ESX cluster that was put together by employees that were trained on VMware and have since left the company after the company went into salary/benefits cutback mode. This Company expects this EsxCluster to be up 24x7, since it has about 40 systems that are critical for the day to day production cycle, not a reasonable request since most of the systems techs remaining have no formal VM training. The VMware Cookbook has been a tremendous help in getting me through some difficult problems and projects
The people who built our ESX cluster from the ground up have both moved on to another company. The administration of ESX has now fallen upon me. With our training budget being nonexistent, this book has proven to be an extremely valuable resource in the day to day operations of our cluster.
I find the Recipe format very easy to follow. The Discussion section of the recipe provides clear and concise information. The links to websites that are provided have proven quite useful also.
The information in this book has proven invaluable for me and the support I am able to offer my company. I hope to see more information on Vmware 4.0 in the next edition.