Diagnosing and Troubleshooting PowerShell Remoting

hicks_cover150I was having a little difficulty with PowerShell remoting the other day and a colleague of mine dug up a link to a forthcoming book entitled “PowerShell Deep Dives” by Jeffery Hicks, Richard Siddaway, Oisin Grehan, and Aleksandar Nikolic.

Chapter 1 of the book, “Diagnosing and troubleshooting PowerShell remoting“, is available via the publisher’s website as a preview chapter and was very useful in solving my issue. The rest of the book looks like it will be interesting too if the chapter headings are anything to go by. Apparently it should be released this Spring.


From Techie to Fiction Writer

It seems that uber-techie Mark Russinovich has turned to fiction writing.

His name is usually associated with the Sysinternals suite of tools and his infrequent blog posts are always worth a read because of the incredible detail they contain. But, will either of those talents translate to the pages of a book?

Mark cites Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton as authors whose style he feels is close to his own. Expect then a high level of detail in the narrative. (If I ever took up fiction writing, I would probably end up exhibiting a similar style.)

I look forward to having a read although I hope that it doesn’t date too quickly.


Mark’s original blog post annoucing the book’s availability.

The hardcover version on Amazon.co.uk


Battling with “Best Practices”

I received my copy of the “VMware vSphere Design” book yesterday from amazon. As with any book before I read it I just flick through it quickly. If it’s non-fiction, like this book, I might even read a random page or two.

Purely by coincidence the book fell open at page 13 and a highlighted section titled “Don’t accept Best Practices Blindly”. It actually made me laugh when I read that. Not because it’s funny or wrong but because I had spent a large part of my day trying to convince people of the very same thing!

Several people have sounded off about “Best Practices” in the past and at least one of them dislikes the term so much that it won’t do you any favours to mention it if you’re interviewed for a job by him.

My own feelings are fairly well summed up by the paragraph in the book. That is, I think they’re a good starting point but you need to understand why something is a best practice and what the implications of following or not following it are. Implementations and environments are rarely, if ever, identical and you should have the knowledge and intelligence to determine which best practices are applicable.

I look forward to reading the rest of the book now but I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone who has had a “best practice” cause a problem in their environment.


Review: vSphere 4.0 Quick Start Guide

I was planning to do this over the Christmas break but I hardly turned my computers on. I did pop a quick review on Amazon but I wanted to expand on it a bit.

I first heard about the book in the run up to VMworld 2009 back in September. I would very much have like to go but could not. I gather that some preview copies of the book were given away there. Luckily I know and live quite close to one of the authors and managed to get my hands on a copy. I can’t recall what my expectations were but the book that I started reading that night was easier to read and more compelling than anything that I’d picked up for a while.

The structure of the book is fairly loose – there are no chapters. It is broken down into different sections covering vCenter, Networking, Storage etc and in turn each of those is broken down into sub topics. These take the form of FAQ type questions that are then answered or are descriptive sections of text. Throughout the book are helpful scripts or commands that can be used, the majority being written in PowerShell.

The quality of the content is very high and should appeal to seasoned vExperts and relative beginners alike. While reading it I certainly found areas where my knowledge was rusty or non-existent and many other areas where the book will serve as a handy reference when I can’t remember something. And given the size of the book (~240 pages and pocket sized) it’s very easy to carry around.

There is talk of further titles coming from the same authors and if this volume is indicative of the quality that we can expect then I am looking forward to seeing more. I also hope that it inspires other people to consider sharing their knowledge like this.