Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Book Review : VMware Cookbook

VMware Cookbook - A Real-World Guide to Effective VMware Use is written by Ryan Troy and Matthew Helmke. The book has around 255 pages, and 7 chapters.
I have been using VMware products for many years now. It was always a challenge to administer some of these products. Especially, the ESX Servers.

If you are using any of VMware's products like the ESX, ESXi, or the vSphere, this book provides you with tons of useful tips and makes life easier for you as an administrator.

The book has 7 chapters, and each chapter includes several recipes for a specific problem.
Chapter 1, VMware Infrastructure Installation 
As the chapter name suggests, it covers installation for ESX and ESXi. The authors cover both 3.x and 4.0 versions. This chapter also has almost 17 tables showing different configuration maximums for ESX 3.x/4.x which is really going to be useful if you are planning your virtual environment.
Chapter 2, Storage 
In this chapter, the authors discuss about the different types of storage and how to configure and use them within the ESX servers.
Chapter 3, Networking
If you want to configure your virtual switches, software and hardware adapters, Ethernet frame sizes or simply knowing the differences between ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 in network support, this chapter provides recipes for all these items. Also, if you need to create a service console network using the CLI, or you need to know how to use Multiple Gateways, these recipes are included as well.
Chapter 4, Resource and vCenter Management 
If you have used VMware products, than you will be familiar with terms like clustering, HA(High Availability), and DRS(Distributed Resource Scheduler). This chapter discusses several recipes for all these, and also recipes to configure, setup and maintain these resources as well.
Chapter 5, Useful Command-Line Tools 
If you like using command line tools, than this chapter and the recipes here will get you started with those as well. You will learn how to enter maintenance mode using the command line, display server info, emptying a large VM(Virtual Machine) logfile. Also, recipes for monitoring CPU usage, memory usage, storage performance, network usage are also included. There are 46 recipes just in this chapter.
Chapter 6, General Security
Ok, this is the most important chapter if you are concerned about securing your virtual environment. Most are Linux-related, since ESX server uses Red Hat Linux. A few of the recipes in this chapter are as such:
  • Allowing or Denying Users the use of SSH
  • Recovering a lost root password
  • Tracking users via the CLI
  • Configuring Active Directory Authentication
  • Disabling Copy and Paste
Chapter 7, Automating ESX Installation 
This final chapter has recipes which introduces you to configuration files which are needed for networking, startup, which you would want to automate.

If you are a network administrator using the most latest VMware products, than this book is the ultimate guide for you. That said, I am not a network administrator, but many recipes in this book helped me. So, if you are using VMware products; especially ESX servers, go get this book. Highly Recommended.


  1. Meera,
    Nice review. Does it cover anything on VMWare workstations?

  2. Thanks. No, it doesn't have anything for workstation. Just for ESX and ESXi servers.

  3. Great for the linux users like me.

  4. thanks for sharing this site. various kinds of ebooks are available here

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    My id is :