When I first heard that Chris Wahl (blog / twitter) and Steven Pantol (twitter) were working on a book focused on networking topics for VMware administrators I knew it was going to be a must have book for the tech library and it did not disappoint. Being an IT veteran of 15+ years, my focus has always been on the system administration/storage side of the house. I did not really get more active in networking till I started working with VMware during VI 3.x days. Even at that point from a networking side I was mostly interested that my networking team provided the right/correct VLANs on my VMNIC uplinks.
This has changed over last few years as I have moved away from the day to day administration of a virtual environment more towards an architectural role. Along that way I have had to pickup networking skills from various resources, but nothing that was compiled together in a single book. Chris and Steve do a fantastic job of building up the basics of physical networking and then taking you into the advanced features of virtual networking in a vSphere environment.
The book is broken into four parts to help you across your networking journey:
- Physical Networking 101 – This section consists of six chapters and starts off with Ethernet basics, Layer 2/Layer 3 networking concepts, and finishes up discussing converged infrastructures solutions by Cisco, Nutanix, and others.
- Virtual Networking – Section two is the “meat” of this book. Seven chapters breakdown everything you need to know about configuring and designing virtual networking in your VMware vSphere environment. With full breakdowns of vSphere Standard Switch, vSphere Distributed Switch, and the Cisco 1000v this section alone is worth the price of admission.
- You Got Your Storage in My Networking: IP Storage – Four chapters covering the design and implementation of IP based storage. The chapters are split evenly between iSCSI and NFS best practices.
- Other Design Scenarios – The last two chapters in the book provide additional design scenarios and information. Chapter 18 provides four different network adapter configurations (2, 4, 6, and 8 nic based servers) with and without IP based storage. Chapter 19 covers mult-nic vMotion architectures.
While the subjects that are covered are for sure complex and detailed, both authors have done an excellent job creating content that is easy to read and retain. With the addition of the design examples you are sure to walk away from this book with the knowledge to implement the most advanced of vSphere networking features.