Finding good technical information from VMware can be tough, VMware scatters it all across their websites & blogs and their is no one big technical library where you can view everything. I’m a junkie for great technical information on vSphere and have run across a number of great resources that I thought I would share with everyone:
1. You may be familiar with VMware Labs as they pump out a lot of those great Flings that are unofficial free tools that perform specific functions in a vSphere environment. They also have a publications section that has 50+ hardcore technical papers on topics like VisorFS, which explains the ESXI architecture in detail and vIC which explains Interrupt Control for VM storage device I/O. VMware has rolled a lot of these great publications up into a Technical Journal that they recently published.
2. You can find all of VMware’s patent listings at this website which helps explain exactly how a lot of their technology and features work. Here you can find out the technical details behind their DataMover component of the hypervisor which is responsible for moving and copying VM data for operations like Storage vMotion. You can also find out all the details on how their Fault Tolerance feature works as well.
3. In addition to problem solving articles, the VMware KB has a lot of great articles in it as well but finding them can be pretty challenging. To find them you can search on types of documents and select technical articles that are not specific to problems and issues such as Best Practices, How-To’s and Information documents. Their is also a KBTV video blog as well that gives you video instruction on many of the popular KB topics.
4. The VMworld website has all of the recordings and materials from previous years VMworld’s. You can only access the previous year if you attended or purchase a subscription to them. But the years before the previous year are always made free after each VMworld and still contain a lot of good content. For example you can see all of the 2010 sessions here.
5. VMware has a video library for their Technical Publications on YouTube so if you don’t like reading about something you can see it in a visual manner instead. Most of the videos are fairly short (under 5 min), it would be nice if they could make these longer and put more information in them but they are still good to watch.
6. VMware has first rate documentation, it’s now available in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats, download it all and put it on your Kindle, E-Reader or iPad so you always have it with you. It’s broken into specific guides now for areas such as storage, availability, networking, security, resource management, etc. This documentation is not just how to install and use the products, their is a lot of great information as well that is very educational.
7. Of course don’t forget the great technical papers that VMware frequently publishes, some great recent ones include Storage Protocol Comparison and another comparing Stretched Clusters to SRM.
8. Then there is the VMTN forums which is where a lot of topics get discussed, but there is also a Documents section in each of the forums that contains some great information that is more focused then the discussion threads. For example here is the Documents for the vSphere forum and for the vCenter forum.
9. Finally if there is one blog you must read besides Duncan’s, VMware’s vSphere Blog is it. The vSphere blog has become an aggregate for may other VMware technical blogs that focus on specific areas like storage, ESXi, DR/BC, Networking and Automation. Some of VMware’s great technical minds like Cormac Hogan, Frank Denneman, Duncan Epping, William Lam and Kyle Gleed.
If you have any other good VMware technical information sources let me know and I’ll add them to the list.