I picked up a copy of this book pretty much as soon as it was released. Most architects I’ve spoken to have recommended this book, so I didn’t want to miss it!
Where to start.
The book gets off to a running start, there is no build-up towards hitting you with some great knowledge (the authors have also managed to get a number of VCDXs to answer the question “what is infrastructure design?”). You’ll get stuck in right from the beginning regarding how you should approach solutions design, from the various stages (such as discovery, design, build etc.), design methodologies straight through to really useful case studies.
It’s really quite difficult to get this amount of technical information through across on A5-sized pages – normally you’d read it off A4-sized paper. Also, you’d probably want to view the diagrams included in colour (and I managed to find a few references to colour which indicates it was probably written with some colour originally!) however I didn’t have too much of a hard time digesting the information within the pages. It was a bit difficult at times holding a novel-sized book and keeping attention on it.
Who will this book help?
First and foremost: people going for their VCDX. This book is focussed solely around VMware technologies, so maybe the title is a bit misleading. You could certainly apply the methodology to any design you’re approaching as an architect, since we’re tying Compute, Storage and Networking together but don’t expect to read about any other hypervisors or virtualisation software companies in the book.
I’ll keep this book close! I’ve actually already had it open next to me as I’ve worked on real-life designs including my own VCDX application. You won’t suddenly become a master architect overnight after reading it, however it gives you a SOLID set of methodology and some really great real-life case studies, as well as excellent tips throughout for those preparing for their VCDX (from the documentation phase right through to the defense phase). The methodology within is how VMware themselves would approach a project, picking up from the assumption that the deal has been won and the project is proceeding. If you’re looking for anything to help with winning the deal or writing a bid, you won’t find it here.
If you’re a Solutions Architect or someone who’s keen to move into solutions design at some stage, pick up a copy of this book!