OpenStack Cloud Computing Cookbook by Kevin Jackson, Packt Publishing Book Review
OpenStack Cloud Computing Cookbook is one of these modern marvels when a person can acquire a book for mere $30 (or so) and build a career with it! Thanks Packt! And I assume one would get a very good living. These skills are very much in demand. So a big thank you to Kevin Jackson putting so much insight and effort into creating such a fantastic book. Indeed, the Cloud made quite a lot of buzz lately, and keeps doing so. With the prices per feature falling rapidly it is no longer a brainer Cloud’s adoption is accelerating very fast. Luckily, it is very much possible to build an enterprise grade or even your own cloud (even on your own laptop!). The OSS community and many for-profit companies work day and night to make the Cloud more resilient, affordable and flexible. OpenStack is probably the most bolding one out of these. But it requires a good training as the aspects of creating and maintaining one may seem intimidating at the beginning. It is thus very advisable to get yourself equipped with a good companion as the OpenStack Cloud Computing Cookbook.
So, first things first, the book most probably is not targeting newcomers to the Cloud field or recent grads, but I may be wrong. Be aware though that the book is quite dry and spends a lot of time settings various bleeding edge technical things up (on Ubuntu and some Windows OS). I state the reader should be familiar with some basic bash commands as awk and sed, networking concepts, database, virtualization and storage to rip full befits of the material covered. Another note is regarding the hardware, you would only be able to fully cover everything discussed in the book if you had a decent machine with plenty of storage and RAM. I did not see anywhere exact specs mentioned, but I imagine a MacBook Pro or a Ubuntu machine with 16 Gb or RAM and 500Gb of SSD/HDD free should do just fine.
Those who have enough programming and/or administration skills under one’s belt will be greatly rewarded from reading this book. At the same time this book is a good guide on how to maintain properly just any environment up. E.g. monitoring events, react to issues, troubleshoot, remedy storage mishaps, monitor queues and databases. Plus more. Everyone benefits.
While reading this book, somewhere towards the chapter 12 Monitoring, right after “In the Datacenter” I started to realize thanks to this book, I now have a better understanding what is going on behind the scenes when I click on provision new cluster or allocate a new VM in the cloud as an end user. Total coolness!
After finishing reading this book I am under an impression it must be bought both, in print and electronic forms. One should lay down on your desk because the last two chapters about the monitoring and troubleshooting would be the one you want to skim through first upon getting an issue to tackle. And the ebook should be on your mobile device (in case you get a trouble call or want to reply to an IRC message and need some reference), plus it allows easy copy-pasting into terminal or just in case you want a quick Ctrl-F (search) in your PDF reader for some information.
Verdict, this is a hard to beat book in both quantity, quality and coverage, so a 5 out of 5 is warranted!