Review: The Rational Guide to Scripting Microsoft Virtual Server 2005

The Rational Guide to Scripting Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is a great broadening of topics covered in The Rational Guide to Managing Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 from the unique perspective of scripting.

Written by the same author, its biggest win is approaching automation problems following topics arrangement of its twin book.

Chapters 1 and 2 cover basic concepts of server virtualization and product architecture itself, listing available languages for manipulating Virtual Server 2005 COM interfaces among VBScript, VB.NET or C#, VB 6.0.

Chapter 3 and 4 approaches scripting rules respectively with VBScript and .NET (with examples both in VB.NET and C#), detailing COM objects model and suggesting configuration of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 as development environment.

Chapter 5 teaches how to obtain most informations from virtual machines accessing Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) interface, exploring VirtualMachines and VirtualNetwork classes, and how to monitor performances accessing Windows Performance Monitor counters.

Chapters from 6 to 8 are the heart of the book, detailing automated management of virtual machines (Chapter 6), virtual disks (Chapter 7) and virtual networks (Chapter 8).
Frequent recaps to Virtual Server architecture are disseminated in these chapters, to refresh product knowledge.

Chapter 9 and 10 are dedicated to advanced concept like triggering scripts by specific virtual infrastructure events and automating Virtual Management Remote Console (VMRC) server and client operations.

Source code of book scripts is available only online for registered readers and it’s really worth to download to avoid rewriting all the code and speedup learning.

In a young virtualization world where out-of-the-box datacenter automation is still a big missing but a most wanted capability this book helps you approaching Virtual Server 2005 scripting fundamentals to fill the gap.

While inappropriate for programming novices, this book, unique in its kind, is highly suggested as starting point for automating complex tasks and streamlining virtual infrastructure management. And considering both Virtual Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 are free, it’s a cheap one to become more productive in small time.