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5.0 out of 5 stars Automate now, 4 Aug. 2011
By 
R. Siddaway (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The book spans 740 pages including the index and contains 23 chapters - I couldn't think of anything the authors had missed.

The book starts at the very beginning with installing vCenter and vSphere. Other options than PowerShell are provided for some of the cofiguration tasks. I'm not sure that I would want to perform all of the configuration tasks from the command line but the guidance is there is you need it.

Part 2 (chapters 5-9) covers the Virtual Machine lifecycle. Lots of godd well written scripts for creating and managing your virtual machines

I do disagree with the table on page 231 - WMI isn't hard to learn its just difficult to find the information

Part 3 (chapters 10-13) is about security though I think most organisations will use third party backup tools rather than rely on DIY systems. I particularly liked the chapter on DR - with so many organisations relying on virtualisation technologies knowing how to restore your systems is even more essential - though LoadwithPartialName shouldn't have been used whats wrong with Add-Type?

Part 4 Monitoring and Reporting (14-17) is of great interest to me - I spend a lot of time capacity planning so this is the information I need

The last 6 chapters cover some of the other tools that can be used with PowerShell and the PowerCLI. This may be a dip into as needed section for a lot of people but the authors are commended for the completeness of their coverage.

Some of the scripts are quite long so I recommend downloading the code - no I'm not telling you where it is you have to buy the book!

This is a book about VMware, written by VMware experts and shows how to manage VMware with PowerShell. You will also pick up quite a bit of stuff about VMware itself.

This is a book that I will be using a lot. I strongly recommend it if you are working with VMware and want to manage it with PowerShell.

Buy it. Read It. Use it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive, indepth guide to a growing topic, 4 Aug. 2011
Written by some of the top scripters in the VMware community the PowerCLI Reference book is really what it's title states - a reference. What it does (and does very well) is present both a 'cookbook' of useful scripts and explain how and why they work. While it does explain some concepts along the way it's not really pitched as an introductory guide or as the best way to learn PowerCLI (Hal Rottenberg's book might be better if this is what you're after).

At 700 pages it covers a lot of material but I'm impressed with the technical depth throughout - I picked areas where my knowledge is strongest (though not in the same league as these guys) and still found myself learning something new everytime. For example I've used the VIX API while creating scripted deployments for my test and dev environments at work and thought I knew it reasonably well. To my surprise the book delved into the inner workings of the cmdlets themselves and explained how they in turn called some guest OS scripts which ship with PowerCLI. The index lists the pages where each cmdlet is used so it's easy to look up the cmdlet you're interested in and see code examples. The scripts are downloadable from the book's website and the authors have even put together a module containing all the code along with instructions for how to use it. This is a major bonus - you get nearly 80 prewritten functions you can integrate into your own scripts! These are useful for day to day administration, not just esoteric or niche functions.

Disclosure - I've met both Jonathan Medd and Al Renouf at the VMware User Group on several occasions and was sent a copy of the book to review (I suspect a good chunk of the people interested in buying this book will be familiar with the authors through their social media presence if not in person). There was no obligation to write a positive review and I've said it as I see it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A clear and brilliant PowerCLI reference, 9 Jun. 2011
By 
M. Poore "VMware Specialist" (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It's difficult to be objective when you know (and like) some of the authors. Fortunately it's not a problem in this case since I don't have anything bad to say about their work anyway so I don't need to be diplomatic!

Of course it could be argued that anything I say here might not be totally impartial but I leave it to you, the reader, to make that decision - I just wanted to be open and clear from the start.

"Clear" is definitely a word I'd use when describing the book. With a subject like this, which isn't exactly what you would call bedtime reading, any confusion would make the book unreadable. Maybe this is helped in my case by the fact that I've been using PowerCLI and PowerShell for quite a while now although I certainly wouldn't put myself anywhere near being in the same league as the authors.

Having some exposure to PowerShell I think is probably a pre-requisite for this book. Or at least you should have a willingness to learn a bit about the language first as the book drops you into some fairly sizable scripts right from the start (assuming you go from cover to cover that is). Thank fully these scripts can be obtained from the publisher's website - the days of typing in programs from a magazine are long gone!

One of the things that I like most about the book is that many of the day-to-day Virtual Infrastructure tasks that most people do repetitively through the GUI have been converted into PowerCLI scripts. Not all of them will be immediately useful to everyone but they give you the flexibility to change how you work whilst at the same time being fairly easy to follow. Having the way that PowerCLI works with the vCenter API explained (with examples) at various stages should give any reader the confidence to strike out on their own. Just remember to test any modifications on a non-production system!

My only criticism of the book is one that is general to books of this type. Inevitably, by the time that they are written, edited and published the technology is on the cusp of moving on and it is possible for such books to become outdated quite quickly. In my opinion, PowerCLI is here to stay. PowerShell is certainly gaining lots of traction in the IT industry and so as a foundation for scripting VMware vSphere this book should be a good read for some time to come, even if a little tweaking is necessary in the future to make the documented scripts work with the latest versions of PowerCLI.

My only criticism of the book is one that is general to books of this type. Inevitably, by the time that they are written, edited and published the technology is on the cusp of moving on and it is possible for such books to become outdated quite quickly. In my opinion, PowerCLI is here to stay. PowerShell is certainly gaining lots of traction in the IT industry and so as a foundation for scripting VMware vSphere this book should be a good read for some time to come, even if a little tweaking is necessary in the future to make the documented scripts work with the latest versions of PowerCLI.

The only other thing (and this is a note for the publishers / amazon and the reason that it only gets four stars) is that it would be great they offered a bundle of the print book and an electronic version (e.g. Kindle) for a reasonable price. I know a fair few people like me who would like that sort of combination. Actually, offering an electronic version at all would be good - I gather from Jonathan Medd's interview on the #vsoup podcast that there were formatting issues with the script samples that the publisher is working on.

Otherwise an excellent book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars In depth PowerCLI Reference, 28 Jan. 2012
This is an ideal book to have for reference.
I can't imagine starting at the beginning and working your way through it - though it looks like some people have. But if you have it handy, it will save you a lot of work if you have a reasonable size environment to manage.
Most things seem to have been covered in detail, and if not, then there is usually something there to get you started.
If you want to learn PowerCli then this won't be for you, but if you've got a basic grasp, then this will be a really handy reference.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 3 Dec. 2013
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Especially for virtualization enthusiasts like me. It contains many interesting examples for virtual infrastructure automatization. I like it very much!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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Exactly what I expected.
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