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VMware vSphere design is something important for VMware beginner, VMware engineer, VMware SME, or VMware architect. It’s not only related to know well the technologies, but understand how use it in the right way (in the right cases).

VMware vSphere Design Essentials is a short book (only 176 pages), but with a good approach for design an IT environment, particularly a VMware vSphere based.

It can be really useful also for VCAP-DCD or VCDX preparations, in order to understand same methods and principles in projects design.

The organization is almost simple and linear:

  • Chapter 1, Essentials of VMware vSphere, gives readers an in-depth knowledge of VMware vSphere products’ benefits and architecture, and the appropriate methods, principles, and processes that the reader will apply to design VMware vSphere on infrastructures. This is a must if you have trouble with VCAP-DCD exam, where some concepts are not so easy and natural (unless you have practice with ITIL or similar frameworks).
  • Chapter 2, Designing VMware ESXi Host, Cluster, and vCenter, covers the methods for designing an ESXi Hypervisor and its inner components. This chapter also covers methods for designing for the upgradation and migration of ESX, clusters and vCenter, and highly elastic infrastructures. This is the most outdated part (still on vSphere 5.x).
  • Chapter 3, Designing VMware vSphere Networking, covers the the methods for analyzing the given requirements and mapping them to network possibilities. This part provide a simple but good overview also on virtual networking (but does not include any NSX or SDN parts).
  • Chapter 4, Designing VMware vSphere Storage, covers the methods for analyzing the given requirements and mapping them to storage possibilities, and the designing blueprints for storage infrastructure. Interesting part, but still little outdated, considering that does not cover at all VSAN or hyper-converged solutions.
  • Chapter 5, Designing VMware vRealize, covers the methods for analyzing the given requirements and mapping them to vCloud as well as forming design blueprints for the vCloud infrastructure. Interesting part, but too short and too generic.
  • Appendix, About VMware vSphere 6.0, covers the new features introduced into VMware vSphere 6.0. It also covers the enhancements brought into VMware vSphere 6.0. Too short and useless. Was better integrate it in the main structure.

In my opinion the 2.0 version could be really great if it will be more focused on the current product version, the recommended practices (maybe merging it with the upcoming vSphere Design Best Practices book) and the actually proposition and technologies.


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.