I recently received a review copy of Mike Laverick’s new book, Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0 from VMware Press. First off, this book is incredible! If you are looking to brush up on SRM 5.0, this is a must have book. What is interesting to note about this book is that is one of the first books published by VMware Press, and it’s a gem. VMware Press is really putting together some nice books, thanks to all the amazing authors in the community and Mike Laverick is no exception. If you know Mike, you know he’s pretty much the go to guy for SRM, know to some as “Mr. SRM”. If you don’t know who Mike is, his blog, RTFM Education, is one of the top 10 virtualization blogs rated annually by Eric Siebert at vSphere-Land.com. Here is a short bio taken from Mike’s blog:
RTFM Education is a website/blog create by me, Mike Laverick
I am a freelance/contract instructor/trainer and I specialise in Citrix and VMware Products, and my customers and partners include IBM, HP (France, Belgium, Finland, Denmark) SureSkills (Ireland) and CDG (Netherlands). I work across the UK and Europe – and have delivered training for such organisations as United Nations in Italy and Shell in Nigeria.
I’ve worked in the IT Industry since 1993 and for my sins I am quite heavily qualified with certifications such as
VMware Certified Instructor
VMware Certified Professional
Citrix Certified Instructor
Citrix Certified Administrator
Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrator
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (NT4,W2K,W2K3)
Microsoft Certified Trainer (Retired)
A+ Certified Engineer (Retired)
A+ Certified Trainer (Retired)
At a total of 528 pages and weighing in at 2.26 pounds, the book is not overwhelming and easy to transport unlike most of your technical books packing over 1,000 pages and weighing over 4 pounds. Now that we know about the author, the weight of the book and the number of pages, let’s look at what is covered in the book.
This book extensively covers what is behind administering VMware’s SRM 5.0 feature. Important to point out that the book’s subtitle is “Technology Hands-On”, and that is exactly what it is. The book doesn’t only provide prose, but it gives real work examples and screen shots to help the reader gain a good understanding of what they might see when tasked with administering SRM 5.0. Too often we get tech books that just don’t provide enough real world experience and are very difficult to read cover to cover, this book is exactly the opposite. It stats off with a nice introduction to Site Recovery Manager, hitting on what’s new to version 5.0 as well as a nice section on “A Brief History of Life before VMware SRM”. What I also liked about the first chapter of the book is that Mike does a nice job of differentiating what is a Disaster Recovery (DR) technology and what isn’t a DR technology. Things like vMotion, High Availability (HA), and Fault Tolerance (FT) are listed as not being viable options to base your infrastructure’s DR plan on.
Chapters 2 and 3 cover how to get started with configuring replication on different storage platforms such as Dell EqualLogic and EMC Celerra, which is great if you employ those technologies in your datacenter (Mike also covers NetApp as well, further into the book). Chapter 7 is one of the more important and extremely helpful chapters in the whole book, it covers Installing VMware SRM. Mike does an excellent job of covering networking components involved, storage replication and VMware components all with ample screenshots and real world examples. The final chapter of the book covers upgrading SRM 4.1 to 5.0, which can also be helpful to any admins still running 4.1 in their environment, but looking to upgrade to vSphere 5.
Should I Buy It?
If you are a vSphere 5 admin, there is no question as to whether or not you should buy this book, but it! What I try to do is build my library around all vSphere components if only to have a resource to reach out to in the chance that I need help installing and configuring that component or upgrading, or simply as a troubleshooting guide. This book is a great addition to my library and I know you would appreciate having it in your library as well. Some VMware books out there are difficult for the Jr. Admin to just pick up and start reading, this is not the case with Administering VMware SRM 5.0. It’s well written, and organized in a fluid manner, you could read this book cover to cover no problem, can’t say that about all tech books. Whether you are looking to learn more about SRM, or are looking for an installation and fine tuning guide, this is your book. Thanks to Mike for all the work he put into this book, and thanks to VMware Press for all the work they do in getting these books from start to finish.
More titles from Mike Laverick: