Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

My Technical Book Reading List


I work as a technical architect in a consultancy role in the Windows Infrastructure & Virtualization space, and as such I’m paid for my experience and opinion, but it’s also an important part of my job to proactively keep on to top of industry trends and investigate new technologies that may solve customer problems, even problems they don’t know they have {yet}.

Twitter and blogs are a useful resource for current and less formal or structured information if used carefully, but it’s all too easy to be distracted from the job at hand by the latest shiny tech or flamewar so you need to measure the amount of time you spend there and they are no substitute IMHO for traditional study and hands-on “playing” time.

Like many I’m currently studying for my VCP4 exam, and have recently upgraded my MCSE to the current MCITP:EA 2008 certification so I thought I would publish a reading list for anyone else looking to do the same as well as general industry books I have been reading recently.

Maintaining a balance between this study/pro-active time and staying a well utilised/billed out resource is hard and I find it often spills into my own personal time so you need to have a good level of personal interest/dedication otherwise you will struggle – I’m a geek at heart and I look upon this as investing in my career but it’s more important that your kids remember what you look like!

This is one area where travelling for work via public transport rather than driving works well – plenty of study time to be had with a good pair of headphones

(i.e not the rubbish ones that ship with the iPod), a good list of tunes to block everyone else out and a book/laptop with VMs.

Maintaining a good home lab environment is also critical for me, and I run all the services for my demanding demo environments as well as my home users (read: wife & kids) there and that really does teach you something about availability :)  I wrote some details of my lab setup here but I have an updated post in the pipeline as there have been some significant changes to support my vSphere study.

Anyways, enough rambling and on with the list..

VCP4 Upgrade

Mastering VMware VSphere 4: Scott Lowe: Books

ISBN: 0470481382
ISBN-13: 9780470481387

You can’t go far wrong with the Lowe, this is the definitive vSphere book at the moment.

VCP4 practice exams online at the SLOG here

VCP4 resource list here

if you wanted a similar book for VI3 I would recommend this one;

Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)

Windows 2008 MCITP Core Exams study guide

This is a comprehensive set of books for the 4 core exams, not as dry as previous versions and lots of practical lab excercises, as usual good set of practice tests on the included CD

For the client component of the MCITP:Enterprise Administrator cert

MOSS 2007 Exam

Not the most exciting product for me, but it does cover the exam requirements – seems to spend a lot of time explaining what each menu item is within the MOSS UI, which was a bit frustrating.

Very good book, puts a lot of real world around MOSS deployments

General Good Books to Read

Cisco UCS

Good book covering what Cisco’s new UCS blade system and consolidated I/O model is; not much information available elsewhere at the moment, although 1/2 the book is spent discussing the various CPU/memory bus architectures which is a good update to your knowledge but would have liked to have seen more time dedicated to how UCS works and some example configurations

General computing/tech

An excellent book, with a focus on open source technologies and a lot of practical insight from the building of Flickr – good for briding the infrastructure/application divide.



If you don’t get cloud computing or understand where things could go, you need to read this book, brilliant and not a long, drawn-out read and not that technical.

Aimed more at developers rather than infrastructure people but if you want to try things out for yourself it has some easy to understand examples.

I hope you found this list useful, you may notice that these are affiliate links – should you wish to purchase any of these books Amazon will pay me a nominal commission which I can use towards the normally ad-free funding of this site and my time, although you are entirely able to go and purchase any of these books directly from the Amazon site.

Baby and non-IT related books

We recently had our 2nd child and it reminded me of these great books for all fathers to-be 🙂

The Bloke’s Guide to Pregnancy: Jon Smith: Books

ISBN: 140190288X
ISBN-13: 9781401902889

2 responses to “My Technical Book Reading List

  1. Rodos October 7, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Thanks for the list. Always great to see what other people are reading. Have or are reading a lot of those and picked up a new one.


  2. Pingback: Get a move on and do your VCP4 upgrade « Virtualization, Windows, Infrastructure and all that “stuff” in-between

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