Duncan Epping – vSphere 6.0 U2 HA Deepdive

First of all I like to offer my apologies to Duncan Epping because I should have added this book months ago. Definitely because this book has been written by Duncan in his free time and is offered to the public at no costs! Everyone is free to download a copy  in a PDF, a Mobi or a EPub format.


When I started on my VCAP5-DCD journey about a year ago one of the books I kept reaching for over and over was the ‘vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive‘. This book, together with a bunch of whitepapers, was my ultimate guide to understanding  DRS, HA, resource pools and the likes. Not having to flick through different whitepapers all of the time and being able to reread parts of a single book saved me a lot of time when I was preparing for the VCAP5-DCD exam.

While you can see the ‘vSphere 6.0 U2 HA Deepdive‘ as the successor to the ‘vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive‘ there are some differences in content between both books though. Where the ‘vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive’ dives into HA, DRS, Storage DRS and the likes, the ‘vSphere 6.0 U2 HA Deepdive‘ only dives into the HA part of vSphere 6.0. Still it is not a small book. Duncan still whips up a whopping 144 pages about the ins and outs of vSPhere 6.0U2 High Availability.

Is this still relevant information now vSphere 6.5 has been released? Well, most definitely! From an exam perspective,  the ‘VCAP6-DCV Design exam’ is based on vSphere 6.0 GA which resembles vSphere 6.0U2 a lot (be mindful of the differences between ‘vSphere 6.0 GA and 6.0U2’ and ‘VSAN 6.0 and 6.2!). This book contains a wealth of information and should be on your shortlist of things to read prior to taking the exam. Also, if your production environment is running on vSphere 5.5 and you still have to migrate to vSphere 6 or have migrated to vSphere 6 and are not planning to migrate to vSphere 6.5 in the near future, you should definitely read this book. The only investment from your side will be time because there are no costs involved!


 The structure of the book:

  1. Introduction
  2. Disclaimer
  3. About the author
  4. Introduction to HA
  5. Components of HA
  6. Fundamental Concepts
  7. Restarting Virtual Machines
  8. Virtual SAN and Virtual Volumes specifics
  9. Adding resiliency to HA
  10. Admission Control
  11. VM and Application Monitoring
  12. vSphere HA and
  13. Stretched Clusters
  14. Advanced settings
  15. Summarizing
  16. Changelog

Here are some of the highlights for me:

Back when the VCAP6-DCV Design beta exam was announced finding good resources on certain topics was not all that easy. Having a resource like this book which shows you how HA has been changed compared to prior releases really is a godsend. Not just for the exam, but also for real world deployments.

Duncan’s book really helped me with a fundamental understanding of how HA works for VSAN, VVOLs and Stretched clusters. Anyone willing to take the VCAP6-DCV Design exam, I highly advice you to read these chapters.

The book also contains a part about component protection. It probably still is one of the best explanations about what component protection is and how it works.

Why this book stands out from the crowd:

  1. It is a really good resource of information
  2. It is free
  3. It is free
  4. It is free
  5. It is free
  6. Now what are you waiting for, you should already be downloading it!