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Book Review: Xen Virtualization

I just finished reading the book titled Xen Virtualization: From Technologies to Solutions, published by Packt Publishing and written by Prabhakar Chaganti. Overall, the book was helpful in getting up to speed with Xen, although it appears that English was not the native language for either Mr. Chaganti, his editor, or both.

The book is subtitled “A fast and practical guide to supporting multiple operating systems with the Xen hypervisor,” and it does live up to that subtitle. The book very quickly moves into some hands-on exercises using a Linux host and the open source Xen hypervisor. The exercises are fairly pertinent to the topic being discussed, and I especially liked the “What just happened?” sections after each hands-on procedure. In those sections, the author breaks down the steps, the intended results, and the reasoning behind the procedure. In my view, that’s a very helpful way to build understanding of the product.

My only complaint is—as I mentioned earlier—that English appears not to have been the native language for the author and/or editors. The wording sometimes gets in the way of the content, making it more difficult than it should be to understand what the author is trying to say. I would also say that I don’t think the book is worth the $40USD price tag that marked on the back. At only 127 pages, $40 seems a bit steep.

Those issues aside, I found the book to be helpful in understanding Xen and some of Xen’s concepts. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book to people who are both new to virtualization as well as new to Linux, as the material assumes a certain level of knowledge and experience with Linux. Otherwise, if you have some Linux experience and want to get started with Xen, this book would be a good place to start. (Just try to find the book on sale.)

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