Book Review – VMware Cloud on AWS Blueprint

Late last year I was approached by the folks at Packt Publishing to be a technical reviewer on a book about VMware Cloud on AWS. I was happy to be involved as VMC is something I’ve been working with quite a bit since I started at VMware. Fast forward to a few months ago and I received my reviewer copy (yes, an actual book, although you can also buy a PDF or access it via a subscription) of VMware Cloud on AWS Blueprint, written by Oleg Ulyanov, Michael Schwartzman, and Harsha Sanku. I thought I’d do a quick review of the book here, as I think it’s something worth diving into if you’re looking at running, or already run, VMware Cloud on AWS.


What’s In The Book?

The book weighs in at 388 pages, and is divided into 12 chapters, covering the foundational aspects of the VMware Cloud on AWS service, along with everything you need to know to standup the service, connect to it, run applications on it, and secure it. You’ll get the full view of what nodes go into the software-defined data centre (SDDC), what connectivity options you have available, and the best ways to put it all together. There are also chapters covering native AWS integrations, automation, as well as a chapter on the (now maybe only historically interesting) VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts offering. In short, it covers quite a lot of ground, and fills in a lot of detail that could otherwise be confusing for the first-time user of VMware Cloud on AWS. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the best when it comes to advanced networking and security concepts, being more of a disk slinger in the past than someone who focusses on things that go ping, so I found the chapter on understanding networking and security configurations to be truly helpful. Additionally, there was a great chapter on best practice advice, along with guidance on how to avoid common mistakes when deploying and using VMware Cloud on AWS.


Why Read It?

So why bother reading a book about a solution that you’ve probably already deployed? Because chances are there’s going to be some information in there that you haven’t come across, or hadn’t considered when you deployed your VMware Cloud on AWS solution. I’m a big believer in the documentation being able to get you so far, but it is books by specialists that can really open up a topic for you and allow you to see things from a different viewpoint. You might have just deployed your first SDDC, or you might have 20 of them running across multiple AWS Regions. I think you’ll still get some benefits from reading this book. Even if you’re not looking to leverage VMware Cloud on AWS, this book will give you some great insights into how a well-architected, mature, infrastructure-as-a-service offering looks, and provides some great perspectives on design considerations and things to look out for. The authors all have years of field experience, and know what they’re talking about. It was a real pleasure to be involved with this project, and I recommend you check it out.

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