The name sums it up perfectly: “The VMware Cookbook: A Real-World Guide to Effective VMware Use”. This great guide by Matthew Helmke and Ryan Troy is a perfect companion for the novice to intermediate VMware systems administrator.
The flow of the subject matter is very organic and in line with what anyone goes through as they are introduced to the VMware technologies. What I really enjoy about the O’Reilly Media books is that they temper technical depth with conversational and natural authors.
The format of the book is a set of real-world recipes with coverage for every aspect of installing and configuring ESX 5 and also plenty of content to cover ESX3/4 in the case that you are working with those environments. The detail level is ideal for novices, and for intermediate administrators you will find that you can jump around as needed to grab exactly the content you need.
After the initial section of the book which covers installation and configuration through the GUI, there is a broad coverage of the esxcli command line tool, esxtop and many of the great command line tools available to augment or replace what you do through vCenter and the Virtual Infrastructure Client.
Autodeploy? Yes please! While this isn’t a deep dive into the Autodeploy technology, it gives you all that you need to set your environment up including step-by-step guides and configuration file walk throughs that help demystify the Autodeploy for those unfamiliar with it.
The final section covers vCloud Director and the VMware vStorage Appliance. Again, the content is informative and also provides a step-by-step deployment recipe to get you up and running with these great technologies.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and if you are getting started with VMware Virtualization, this book is just what you need.