Mastering Hyper-V Deployment Excerpts

Sybex, the publisher of Mastering Hyper-V Deployment, have posted some excerpts from the book.  One of them is from Chapter 1, written by the excellent Patrick Lownds (Virtual Machine MVP from the UK).  As you’ll see from the table of contents, this book is laid out kind of like a Hyper-V project plan, going from the proposal (Chapter 1), all the way through steps like assessment, Hyper-V deployment, System Center deployment, and so on:

Part I: Overview.

  • Chapter 1: Proposing Virtualization: How to propose Hyper-V and virtualisation to your boss or customer.
  • Chapter 2: The Architecture of Hyper-V: Understand how Hyper-V works, including Dynamic Memory (SP1 beta).

Part II: Planning.

  • Chapter 3: The Project Plan: This is a project with lots of change and it needs a plan.
  • Chapter 4: Assessing the Existing Infrastructure: You need to understand what you are converting into virtual machines.
  • Chapter 5: Planning the Hardware Deployment: Size the infrastructure, license it, and purchase it.

Part III: Deploying Core Virtualization Technologies.

  • Chapter 6: Deploying Hyper-V: Install Hyper-V.
  • Chapter 7: Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2: Get VMM running, stock your library, enable self-service provisioning.  Manage VMware and Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.
  • Chapter 8: Virtualization Scenarios: How to design virtual machines for various roles and scales in a supported manner.

Part IV: Advanced Management.

  • Chapter 9: Operations Manager 2007 R2: Get PRO configured, make use of it, alerting and reporting.
  • Chapter 10: Data Protection Manager 2010: Back up your infrastrucuture in new exciting ways.
  • Chapter 11: System Center Essentials 2010: More than just SCE: Hyper-V, SBS 2008 and SCE 2010 for small and medium businesses.

Part V: Additional Operations.

  • Chapter 12: Security: Patching, antivirtus and where to put your Hyper-V hosts on the network.
  • Chapter 13: Business Continuity: A perk of virtualisation – replicate virtual machines instead of data for more reliable DR.

Updated Recommended Reading

I have updated the recommended reading page on my site.  You will obviously find a link to Mastering Hyper-V Deployment there.  Amazon had it listed as a Nov 19th release.  We might actually have it “on the shelves” a week or two early; Sybex/Wiley are working very hard on it.

A few other additions/changes include:

Writing of Mastering Hyper-V Deployment Nearing Completion

I’ve just submitted the last of my content to Sybex for Mastering Hyper-V Deployment.  It’s been a long and tough road.  Early work started on the project in February.  I’ve been doing my normal day job and trying to squeeze in chapters in a rush schedule.  I’ve been working during the morning commute, at lunchtime, the evening commute, into the night, and at weekends.  My co-author is close to finishing his chapters on schedule.  I’ve been doing the first of the reviews as we’ve moved through the project.  I’m probably already a third of the way through the copy edits (2nd set of reviews).  After that comes the final set (I hope) of layout edits.  And then off it goes to the printers for release in November.  I can’t wait!

Book Progress

Work continues on Mastering Hyper-V Deployment.  We’ve hit a few snags along the way.  We had a bit of a project shakeup over the last 2 weeks.  I hit a technical issue (VMM and OpsMgr integration) last week that has delayed one chapter while I engage support from MS.

But work continues.  One chapter might be pushed out but others come forward.  It’s all hands on deck right now as I enter the most intense part of my schedule.  Sleep is at a premium: I have a day job and the book is worked on at night and at the weekends.

This blog is proving to be critical.  One of its purposes is to act as my notebook: I collect bits of information from other sources and I record things that I’ve learned along the way.  As part of my day job, I often refer back to it.  For the book, I find myself coming back here to pull out bits of information.  The book allows me to tie them together, order them, experiment a bit, and expand on the information.

The current chapter I’m working on is a perfect example of this.  I’m pulling in information that is anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years old.  A lot of it is plain text, discussing architecture and configurations.  The second half of it is pure step-by-step of some very new stuff. 

Another key source of information is the MVP community.  I’ve had help and continue to get help from countless people.  Sometimes it’s stuff I’ve picked up in general conversation.  Sometimes they’ve been kind enough to answer questions.  When the book comes out, you’ll see how big a role MVP’s have played in its writing.  I’ll have say a BIG “thank you” to a big bunch of people who’ve helped shape it.

In a way, the timing of the book has worked out well.  Sure, we are well into the life of W2008 R2 Hyper-V.  Typically a book tries to be released in the first few months of a product in order to maximise its lifecycle.  We’ll be about 1 year into the life of W2008 R2 when we hit the shelves.  But this book is about enterprise deployments: and a lot of the accompanying products in that sort of deployment have just hit the shelves.  Heck, some of our content isn’t even available in an RTM form yet!

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V: Insiders Guide to Microsoft’s Hypervisor

I just saw that John Kelbley and Mike Sterling have an updated version of their Hyper-V book hitting the shelves next month.  Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V: Insiders Guide to Microsoft’s Hypervisor is available for pre-order now.  I have a copy of the previous Windows Server 2008 edition which gave a great insiders view into Hyper-V; both authors work for Microsoft as a part of the Hyper-V product group.  You can bet that the new book will be an informative read.

The Lab for the Latest Chapter

The Mastering Hyper-V Deployment book covers enterprise Hyper-V deployments (and we have stuff for the smaller guys too).  That means dealing with all the possible environments that you can encounter.  Building the lab for that in my house was a challenge – I don’t have an enterprise budget so I cannot splurge on servers as required.  Appropriately, virtualization is being leaned on quite heavily.

Here’s what the lab looks like:

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At the heart of it all is my Hyper-V laptop.  I’m running a different eSATA drive caddy than my usual demo one for these labs.  The virtual machines won’t fit on it so they are on a large USB 2.0 drive which I had sitting on a shelf.  There is a mix of Wired and Wifi networking.  My house isn’t CAT wired and I use wifi.  The VMware ESX host won’t do wifi so I’m using wired networking between it and the Hyper-V host where vCenter and VMM virtual machines are running.  The Hyper-V laptop is also the Hyper-V server in the labs.

Everything works pretty well.  The only downside is moving large files across wifi which is very slow… but that gives me a chance to take a break or get some sleep at night.

I work from my writing laptop.  From there I can RDP onto any of the Windows machines that are on the wifi network (no routing enabled on the Hyper-V host) or alternatively use Hyper-V/VMM/vCenter connections to get on any of the VM’s.  I can grab my screen shots, save them on the laptop and write away until the wee hours of the morning.

So … What Exactly Am I Writing?

You can tell I’m pretty busy because my usual high rate of blogging has dropped significantly in the last month.  Apologies for that.  The blogging has become writing.  I am involved in 2 book projects.  I’ve just seen on Twitter that details on one of those has just gone public.  I actually just saw the tweet seconds after I sent off a chapter I just finished.

Earlier this year I proposed an idea for a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtualization book to Wiley Publishing/Sybex.  It took quite a bit of work to tune the proposal.  It requires an understanding of the subject matter, the audience, and ideas on how it can be marketed.  You could think that a brief overview on the subject matter would be enough.  But no, the publisher needs much more detail.  You pretty much have to provide a detailed project plan for every heading (3 levels deep), page estimates and time estimates.  The proposal evolved over the weeks and eventually went through a couple of reviews.  I then got the news: an ISBN number was assigned and contracts were on the way – I was going to be a lead author on my own book for the very first time!!!!  I did get drunk that night – I think.

The deadlines are very tight.  I was considering seeking help.  My contact in Sybex advised that I outsource some of the chapters to a co-author.  I knew the person I wanted to bring in.  Wilbour Craddock is a technical specialist in the partner team with Microsoft Ireland.  Will (Irish folks will know him as the crazy Canadian who is always wearing shorts) is also a former SBS MVP.  His job has him spending a lot of time working with Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center, making him a perfect co-author to work with on this project.  Thankfully, Will agreed to hop on board the crazy train of book writing.

Another MVP (I won’t say who yet because I don’t have permission to name him) is the technical editor under the employment of Sybex.  He’s an ace at this stuff and will make sure everything we do is up to scratch.

The book is called Mastering Hyper-V Deployment.  I won’t go into the details of it yet.  But you can bet that it is based on our collective experience and knowledge of the product set involved in a Hyper-V deployment.  I saw a gap in the market and figured I could probably write (or a good chunk of) the book to fill it.  The estimated release is in November 19th of this year.  That means we need to finish writing in July.  It has started to appear on some sites for pre-order.

I’m two chapters in a the moment.  I’m really pushing my hardware at home to its limits and am “this close” to buying more.  Will is ahead of schedule and has one chapter nearly done.

I am also working on another book project as a co-author for a friend’s book.  It’s another on-subject book that is turning out to be a good experience.  I’ve one chapter done on that and am 50% through the other.  I’ll talk more about that when the time is right.

As you may have read in my previous posts about my chapters in Mastering Windows Server 2008 R2, the original draft edit is just the very start of the process.  There are numerous technical, language, layout and copy edits for each and every chapter.  It’s a lot of work but it’s a great experience.  And I can’t wait for the buzz to see my name as the lead author of a book in a book shop.  I had to really try when I saw Mastering Windows Server 2008 R2 in Barnes & Noble over in Belleview WA back in February.

My First Book Hitting The Shelves Soon

It’s taken quite some time and amount of work but my first book is hitting the shelves soon.  When I say “my” I should clarify that I’m just one of the many contributors, with me having 4 chapters to my name.

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I got an email from the publishers (Sybex) to say that “Mastering Windows Server 2008 R2” was shipping from the warehouses this week.  I’m told that it will be available from retail outlets within the next month.  Localised versions (if there will be any) will take longer.  I’m supposed to be getting my 2 free copies this week.  Of course, being a good mama’s boy the first one will be going down home.

It was expected to be 1200 pages.  We tried to include W2008 and W2008 R2.  That was because we didn’t produce a W2008 book as planned originally.  That was the original project I was working on in 2007/2008.  There would be 3 W2008 books, the first being very basic, the second covering the 80% of stuff that we all need to know and the third covering the advanced stuff.  Things happened and there were delays.  Eventually it became a pointless task because R2 was coming and it was probably going to have a bigger place in the market than the original Windows Server 2008, thanks to things like Hyper-V and “better together”.  It was decided to focus on W2008 R2 in a single book but also draw in W2008 because it is still out there.  R2 brought us so much new material that the pages kept flowing.  Eventually 1200 pages became 1500 pages.

You should start seeing it on the shelves soon in all good book stores and a few rubbish ones too.  If you have ordered from Amazon then your poor postman will be dragging it to your door quite soon.  I’ve read that Sybex are now selling soft versions of their books rather than “treeware” so that might be an option for you mobility aware folks.