Book Review – VMware View 5: Building a Successful Virtual Desktop by Paul O’Doherty

I recently volunteered to review a book for VMware Press, and I was presented with an opportunity to read and review VMware View 5: Building a Successful Virtual Desktop by Paul O’Doherty, an instructional technical book on the topic of, as you may have guessed, VMware View 5.

I found this book to be good on View basics, but overall, it tends to be repetitive and filled with a lot of needless how-to. I understand completely that this is supposed to be a how-to book and that gratuitous use of basic text and screenshots will and should be present; however, many of the topics given precious page space are simply superfluous. These topics tend to be tangentially or even directly related to a VMware View how-to, but none of them are something that should exist within a View technical guide, and as such, they end up just being filler. These include:

  • Licensing considerations (would have been great if actual licensing considerations had been contained herein)
  • Step-by-step installation of Microsoft SQL Server
  • Step-by-step installation of vCenter Server and ESXi
  • Configuration of Auto Deploy and Host Profiles
  • Step-by-step installation of vCenter Operations Manager
  • Step-by-step installation of vCenter Update Manager
  • Step-by-step installation of Trend Micro Deep Security
  • Configuration of Microsoft Clustering using iSCSI
  • Configuration of WANem
  • Configuration of Wireshark

Don’t get me wrong – none of these were factually incorrect. I have no problem with the guides themselves, they just don’t belong in a VMware View how-to book.

The vSphere portion of chapter two also seemed very out of place, and it reads like it was written by going through product pages and pulling out tidbits of information. It ends up being very light on actual vSphere design for View guidance. I also would have liked to see it include guidance on vSphere 5.1 and View 5.1.1. They were released in August, with official support coming in late-October, so it shouldn’t have been out of the question for a book not published until mid-December.

There were a couple of sections that I thought were outstanding, which were:

  • vCenter Operations for View how-to and guide
  • PCoIP tuning section

In the end, this book is very competent at its stated goal, though I would have liked to have seen it a couple hundred pages shorter. A bit of diligent editing could have made this book much more concise and on topic, both of which are essential in technical guides.