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Book review : Cloud Computing Concepts, Technology & Architecture

CCCTA_cover

Title: Cloud Computing Concepts, Technology & Architecture
Number of pages: 
528
ISBN: 9780133387520
Released
May 2013

My opinion:

The book is well written, is vendor neutral, covers both business and IT aspects and contains many great diagrams. It also has a lot of useful references to external resources.
What I disliked, is that because of the vendor neutral approach some aspects are relatable enough (especially for people that don’t have a lot of working experience). I feel the book would have benefitted by providing more real-life examples of products or services.

The book is a good start for experienced people and will especially come in handy as a reference when getting involved in cloud computing projects. It will help understand vendor specific products and services better.

I would recommend people that are new to cloud computing (or that have very limited working experience) to first read a cloud essentials book like the one from Sybex before reading this book though.

To take a look at the book and its content, you can visit the book’s companion website: http://servicetechbooks.com/cloud

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Book review : Cloud Essentials – CompTIA Authorized Courseware for Exam CLO-001

9781118408735 cover.indd

Introduction

For those who haven’t read my previous blog posts, here’s a short summary. About 1,5 – 2 years ago I decided that I wanted to know more about cloud computing and get certified as well. I used freely available resources to attain these certifications:

In short, my conclusion was that the quality of the freely available resources were not sufficient. ITpreneurs were kind enough to provide me with access to their e-learning course and Train Signal (now Pluralsight) provided me with their video training. Reviews for both can be found here:

Even though both resources are good, I personally prefer a book over eLearning and video training. As such I picked up a copy of “Cloud Essentials : CompTIA Authorized Courseware for Exam CLO-001

Review

Number of pages: 268
ISBN: 978-1-118-40873-5
Released
: June 2013

My opinion:

The book is well written and knows to provide a very good basis of cloud computing both technical and non-technical. Even though the number of pages is limited, the most important aspects are covered in my opinion, which should be enough to provide insight and to pass the Exin and Comptia cloud exams.

What I disliked are some of the questions at the end of the book, because they are sometimes a bit strange. But as far as I can remember, this was also the case in the official exams … so better get used to it if you are going to get certified.

All in all, this is a very good book to get started with cloud computing.

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud

 

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PowerShell – Book review of : Windows PowerShell Best Practices

Windows PowerShell Best Practices

Last week I completed PowerShell Deep Dives which got me excited again to read more about PowerShell. As such, I continued reading the next book on my reading list: Windows PowerShell Best Practices by Microsoft Scripting Guy Ed Wilson.

The book was released late January 2014 and is the most recent book about PowerShell that has been released to my knowledge. This means it includes PowerShell 4.0, Desired State Configuration DSC and references to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

In my opinion the book was very well written and contains a good mix of theory, sample scripts and “notes from the field” from many PowerShell specialists. The sample scripts are available for download at Technet Script Center.

The best practices that are described in the book are very recognizable and I had already adopted many of them based on the many great blog posts by the community. In the book they are all bundled and well explained including examples. Where the book really shines though in my opinion is that it describes how PowerShell is used in real-life, how it relates to many other processes within a company and what you need to consider.

I think this book is a must-have for anyone working with PowerShell. For those starting with PowerShell, I recommend first reading the books “Learn Windows PowerShell In A Month Of Lunches” and “Learn PowerShell Toolmaking In A Month Of Lunches” and then read this book.

Notes:

 
 

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PowerShell – Book review of : PowerShell Deep Dives

PowerShell_Deep_Dives

I’ve had the book PowerShell Deep Dives laying around since August 2013. I had read some parts of it because I follow many of the great PowerShell community members that contributed to it. But I hadn’t gotten to reading it completely yet until now.

The title of the book includes “deep dives” implies very deep technical content and I can assure you, this type of content is present in the book. some of the stuff I still need to wrap my head around to understand properly. On the other hand, other parts of the book are more simplistic which you might not expect from a deep dives book.

The book covers a very broad number of topics and technologies. What I liked is that the articles were written by professionals and community members that are specialized in or are very knowledgeable about this specific topic/technology.

As a result of having the broad number of topics and technologies, not all parts of the book might be relevant to you (especially as a deep dive). I found myself skimming over some parts later in the book since it is very unlikely it is or will become useful for me. This will differ from person to person though, so take a good look at the topics being covered in the table at the end of the article.

All in all it was a good read and I think I’ll use the book mainly as a reference for those times that I need the deep dive insights. The book can be ordered from by example Manning.com and all royalties go to charity: Save the Children

 

Part 1 PowerShell administration
1 Diagnosing and troubleshooting PowerShell remoting (Don Jones)
2 CIM sessions (Richard Siddaway)
3 Collecting and analyzing performance counter data (Arnaud Petitjean)
4 TCP port communications with PowerShell (Boe Prox)
5 Managing systems through a keyhole (Bartosz Bielawski)
6 Using PowerShell to audit user logon events (Mike F. Robbins)
7 Managing and administering a certification authority database with PowerShell (Cadims Podans)
8 Using PowerShell to reduce Active Directory token bloat (Ashley McGlone)
Part 2 PowerShell scripting
9 The 10 PowerShell scripting commandments (James O’Neill)
10 Avoiding the pipeline (Jeff Wouters)
11 A template for handling and reporting errors (Will Steele)
12 Tips and tricks for creating complex or advanced HTML reports with PowerShell (Jonathan Medd)
13 Using and “abusing” dynamic parameters (Bartosz Bielawski)
14 PowerShell type formatting (Adam Driscoll)
15 Scalable scripting for large data sets: pipeline and database techniques (Matthew Reynolds)
16 Building your own WMI-based cmdlets (Richard Siddaway)
17 Turning command-line tools into PowerShell tools (Jefferey Hicks)
Part 3 PowerShell for developers
18 Using Source Control Software with PowerShell (Trevor Sullivan)
19 Inline .NET code (Richard Siddaway)
20 PowerShell and XML: better together (Josh Gavant)
21 Adding automatic remoting to advanced functions and cmdlets (Karl Prosser)
22 Taming software builds (and other complicated processes) with psake (Jim Cristopher)
Part 4 PowerShell platforms
23 PowerShell and the SQL Server provider (Ben Miller)
24 Creating flexible subscriptions in SSRS (Donabel Santos)
25 Inventory database table statistics using PowerShell and SQL Server Management Objects (Robert C. Cain)
26 WSUS and PowerShell (Boe Prox)
27 Provisioning IIS web servers and sites with PowerShell (Jason Helmick)
28 Active Directory Group Management application (Chris Bellee)

 

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Automation, ICT, Microsoft, Powershell, Windows

 

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Microsoft – Surface Pro 128GB sold out in many places despite the not overly positive reviews

Today Microsoft has released its Surface Pro and despite the not overly positive reviews, the 128GB model has apparently sold out in many places.

I personally really like the Windows 8 tablets (I own an Acer W700), but I think the pricing for the Surface Pro is still too steep at the moment for the majority of people. Still it should be enough to get people to think about all the great possibilities with Windows 8 tablets.

So let’s wait and see what 3rd parties will do and what will happen to prices over time. I do expect businesses to adopt Windows 8 tablets quite quickly though. Especially since the sales of regular PC’s aren’t doing that well.

For now, I will leave you with links to a couple of reviews so you can see what other people think:

 
 

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Gadget – portable speaker review : X-mini Max Gun Metal

Sometimes your laptop or tablet speakers just won’t do. Either because the sound quality isn’t very good or because they aren’t loud enough.

Because of this, I decided to buy the X-mini MAX Gun Metal

X-mini MAX Gun Metal

X-mini MAX Gun Metal

X-mini UNO Gun Metal

X-mini UNO Gun Metal

X-mini MAX Gun Metal:

  • Contains 2 small speakers that produce stereo sound.
  • Costs about 65 euro.
  • Provides great sound and volume considering its small size.
  • Contains a built-in battery that can be charged using micro USB (similar to a lot of smartphones).
  • When it’s charged you can use it with any device you’d like as long as it has a 3.5mm jack plug.
  • Allows for speakers to be used separately as well (mono).
  • Allows for linking / daisy chaining even more X-mini devices.

I’ve been looking for a good video that gives you an idea of the sound quality, but none really do it justice. You really have to hear it by yourself. I know (some) MediaMarkt shops in the Netherlands have them, so if you’re interested you might want to test it there. For those that still want to have an impression, check out this youtube video of another version of the X-mini speaker:

Even though I really like the X-mini MAX Gun Metal, there is still room for improvement. By example:

  • At a higher volume, the speaker is distorting and still moving (because of the vibrations).
  • The included usb micro charging cable assumes your laptop/tablet USB and jack port are close to each other. If this is not the case you would need to extend by example the jack plug.
  • The built-in jack cable is too short in my opinion and is only useful for daisy chaining / interconnecting with other X-mini speakers.
  • The price for the MAX version might be too steep for some. The mono versions might suffice though, depending on what you want to use it for.

X-mini also has a lot of cool other versions of their speakers like by example a Bluetooth version, a version with a built-in mp3 player and a version with a built-in radio tuner. So be sure to check out their website.

On a closing note, Fujifilm has unveiled bendable foldable roll-up speakers. So there’s still much more cool stuff coming for portable speakers.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Hardware

 

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