Book Review: Mastering VMware vSphere 5

So this weekend I read the last 250 pages Mastering VMware vSphere 5 to finish it off. I have been busy with other things lately and have neglected reading it for longer than I probably should have.

To start, if you read Mastering 4 by Scott Lowe, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you are getting into here. The book has the same basic setup as its predecessor.

With vSphere 5, this book has all, or atleast most, of the basic setup steps that an administrator would need to use. Along with that, and more importantly in my opinion, this books explains the design decisions that go in creating a vSphere enviroment. Granted this is Not a vSphere design, however giving an overview of those design choices is always great information to have.

Being not the fastest reader myself, I like having nice big milestones, like chapters, to set as reading goals. A couple of the chapters in the book, like the last book, are pushing the edge of 100 pages. Personally I wish that these were a little bit shorter, as knowing I am about to start a long chapter can actually be a deterrent for me to actually start it. However, I would not know how to better divide these chapters so this is probably just a necessary evil.

Having said that though, I felt overall the book just read better. Even though some of the chapters were long, they didn’t feel as long as they had in the previous book. Whether this is the result of me being more familiar with the technology, the book having a slightly different/better organization, or Scott Lowe changing/improving his writing style is hard to say. It might even be some combination of all three. This is not to say that Mastering 4 was organized or written poorly, as I loved it and thought it was very well written. Mastering 5 just seemed to engage me more.

A couple quick notes

  • The Table of Contents is great and detailed which allows you to jump to any section of the book for a quick reference or guidance
  • “The Bottom Line” sections provide questions and answers about each chapter to really ingrain the information for longer retention
  • The asides or side bars are great at providing real-world tips, additional information, or additional resources for further study

Overall I thought it was an amazing read and an improvement over an already great book. It is a must have for any vSphere Administrator or anyone just starting in VMware. I highly recommend it.

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