As a big fan of continuous learning, I am pretty aggressive on finding great content and doing what I can to share that content with my readers and peers.
Hot off the presses is one of my long-awaited books to add to my reading list and that is Networking for VMware Administrators by Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl) and Steve Pantol (@StevePantol). Rarely do I give a sight unseen recommendation, but this is one of those times.
Spreading your wings – Networking is a necessary skill
As administrators and architects, it is absolutely important that we have a broad understanding of technology in and out of the data center. One of the most commonly misunderstood, or under-adopted skills is networking.
Generally, systems administrators will have a good knowledge of the hypervisor, the operational strategies to build and maintain a data center, and also some deeper knowledge of performance and design features. The first two places we need to apply our skills to outside of the hypervisor and operational model is at the storage layer and the networking layer.
Many organizations will have a tighter tie between sysadmins and the storage group due to the often tightly bound relationship to VM performance and day-to-day management tasks. At the same time, those same organizations also typically separate the networking infrastructure management from the server virtualization platform team. We tend to be more loosely coupled which can leave a knowledge gap with this area.
Networking is the new Hello World”
I’m not saying that you need to dive in and start planning your path to be a CCIE. I am however saying that you should have a clear understanding of networking technologies and design as much as your able to. Many administrators used to dabble with programming until we could create our first “Hello World” application, and today I want to challenge you to do the same with networking.
While storage virtualization happens at the hardware layers and is usually more of a black-box management, network virtualization is entwined into our virtual data center in many ways. It may seem complicated and daunting to newcomers to networking, but the truth is that you can get quite far by giving yourself the fundamental skills with books like this.
What I really like about the approach to the book is that it is specifically targeted to VMware administrators. It isn’t that it is only useful for VMware administrators, but that is clearly the ideal reader. Since there are thousands upon thousands of VMware administrators out in the world, I can’t imagine that this wouldn’t be an asset to our community.
So jump on over to Amazon to pick up this book, and make sure to reach out to Chris and Steve using the Twitter links above and let them know how you liked it!