VMworld 2018 — Books to Look For

Every year at VMworld VMware runs a store featuring relevant books. This year, as always, it opens first thing Sunday.

Yes, the store also has clothes and other swag bearing the VMware logo (just in case you want your kids in VMware logoed blues and greens), but VMware staff curate a selection of books that are worth a look. Supplies on the hottest titles run out early in the week, so stop in early.

I’ve got no inside knowledge whatsoever about what is or is not going to be in the store this year, but here’s a list of books I’m either familiar with (because I have owned/read them) or that I’m looking to pick up. Again, not all these titles will be at VMworld (some aren’t even off the presses), but look for any of these and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

VDI Design Guide: A comprehensive guide to help you design VMware Horizon, based on modern standards
Johan van Amersfoort

Aside from the rad cover design, this is at the top of my list for a reason. Really excited to crack into this book, which covers every element of the VDI design with careful attention from security experts, storage experts, application delivery strategies, and much more–all from the “VCDX mindset” approach.

VMware vSphere 6.7 Clustering Deepdive
Frank Denneman, Duncan Epping, Niels Hagoort

This is another top pick. This is an all-start team with guidance that combines technical depth with operational experience. I hear there may be some free copies going out just like the book from last year…

VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive
Frank Denneman, Niels Hagoort

This book was released a year ago and got a lot of hype for good reason. As a systems designer, I have found myself turning to this for reference, but also sometimes just cracking the book to random spots, paging around for context, and then plowing in just for the joy of it–it’s well written, thorough, and a solid resource.

Mastering VMware vSphere 6.7
Nick Marshall

This one isn’t out yet, as far as I know, but it’s an important update to the series. Particularly useful if you’re digging into vSphere for the first time or shooting for a VCP6.5-DCV, except that there’s no 6.7 level certification (and probably won’t be.)

IT Architect Series: Designing Risk in IT Infrastructure

I’m really interested in this book. Hoping to leave with this one in my bags.

It Architect: Foundation in the Art of Infrastructure Design: A Practical Guide for It Architects
John Yani Arrasjid (VCDX 001),  Mark Gabryjelski (VCDX 023), Chris McCain (VCDX 079)

This is a great guide on how architects think and work. The exact technical examples may seem a little out of date (for instance, plenty of small data systems are making the jump beyond 10Gb, or the storage technology may seem a generation or two back) but the principles apply. The examples are not given as a blueprint on how YOUR system should be architected, but instead the examples are concrete vehicles for how to understand the actual principles you absolutely SHOULD architect a data system.

It Architect Series: The Journey: A Guidebook for Anyone Interested in It Architecture
Melissa Palmer (VCDX 236)

I’ve not read this, but I’d like to review it soon. The Journey is a fresh-off-the-presses book on how to get into being an esteemed, well-rounded architect across the various areas where most people specialize.

Kubernetes: Up and Running: Dive into the Future of Infrastructure
By Brendan Burns, Kelsey Hightower, Joe Beda

Looking for a solid intro into Kubernetes? Want to go deeper than blog posts? Here you go. This one is on my “want-to-read” list.
The authors of this book are some of the original developers of Kubernetes and you can hear Joel Beda (now running Heptio) talk about the book in passing on the Kubernetes Podcast: Kubernetes Origins. – Recommended listening in any case.

Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems
Edited by Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff and Niall Richard Murphy

This on is on my need-to-read list. I’m more interested in the processes than the specifics of the SRE role. “Members of the SRE team explain how their engagement with the entire software lifecycle has enabled Google to build, deploy, monitor, and maintain some of the largest software systems in the world.”

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
Kim Scott

I read this earlier in the year and while it has nothing to do with technology, it has a lot of excellent content about management, and it’s right out of the trenches of some of the top tech companies like Apple, Google, and Twitter.

Technology is only as good as it’s delivery, and the culture of the company delivering the tech has everything to do with success. Read this book, even if you’re not in management.


Bear in mind that VMware does put in an effort to make these books available at reasonable costs. Books may be less expensive on Amazon, or they may not. In my experience, it varies considerably, that is if you don’t mind lugging your new books back through airports. In that case, you online vendor of choice may be your best bet.