I am wary of heaping too much praise and coming off sounding like a shill for a product, but for me, this is one of the best, targeted guides I have used for any product, let alone one for Hyper-V. I guess the "targeted" part is what strikes me most about the book.
With one minor exception (see below), this book has the perfect level of detail for someone to plan, design, deploy, and manage a Hyper-V environment.
It seems that the authors share my mindset, because all of the topics covered were those that I had the most questions about. It is rare for me to leaf through a technical book and find all the sections useful, but this one managed it.
For each topic covered, the authors included several types of solutions, and were not shy about provided instructions for many "file copy" type of solutions. In this way, I found the book to be very useful from a real-world perspective. It also includes several very good automation scripts from different sources, so when you're ready to go to that level, this book is right with you.
My biggest question about virtual environments has always been the optimal way to back them up, such that I can easily restore them under a different host. This book covered no less than six different approaches, and had extensive discussion about the pros and cons of each, in addition to instructions for how to implement them. Of course, true to form, one of the approaches was a manual file copy, which again, I was happy to see.
(Incidentally, the descriptions of all six approaches proved to me that my gut instinct about Hyper-V backup is correct: there is no optimal solution, and each form of back has drawbacks that I would rather not have to live with. I hope Microsoft addresses Hyper-V backup shortcomings in 2008 R2.)
As I mentioned up-front, there is one area that the book came up a little short, and that is the ability to manage Hyper-V remotely with Vista using Hyper-V Manager. To be sure, the book does cover the fact that it can be done, and even has a great discussion of setting Hyper-V roles and permissions using Authorization Manager. However, there are two things I think could be added to the book on this topic in the second edition (assuming there will be one):
1. I did not see a link in the book to download Hyper-V Manager for Vista, or even much of a discussion about running Hyper-V Manager on Vista. (I apologize to the authors if I missed it because of my random-page-access reading style, but a few times around the horn and I still can't see anything describing it.)
2. If one was to only use what is found in the book, remote management from Vista would literally never work, because there are some incredibly inappropriate technical hoops one must go through in order to get it to work. The fact that there is absolutely no way one could even accidentally stumble upon the right steps makes them great material for the book. Anyone looking for those steps can find them in John Howard's blog (Senior Program Manager for Hyper-V). There are two parts, for server and client config. I have no idea why he made the URL a thousand characters long, but there you have it.
You have to see these steps to believe them. I was dumbfounded.
Anyway, back to the book. It is filled with real-world, useful information, as well as tips and knowledge that are obviously gained through experience. Many of the tips are explained in several, such as the tip to be sure and leave one network port reserved for managing the host.
The book is not a brick that will sit on your desk, you'll actually feel you can make your way through it, and the reading level is pleasant -- not too arcane, and can be read either from front-to-back or my random access style.