Let me make it absolutely clear - I am not a virtualisation expert. But I have heard enough network managers in schools, colleges and universities talking about their virtualisation projects to know that it's very important to their ICT infrastructure - whether that's reducing cost, cutting carbon emissions, managing their workload, or improving their network reliability and service levels.
But I've also talked with other IT managers who've convinced me that it's specialist knowledge that isn't widely shared. After all, if you're not quite sure what the difference is between server virtualisation and desktop virtualisation, or whether 'virtualisation' and 'moving to the cloud' are the same thing, then it can be awkward to ask. (A bit like when I sat in a meeting with a school, and was too embarrassed to ask what 'assessment for learning' meant. It helped later when I discovered that nobody in the meeting knew, but they all thought everybody else did.)
The answer is to find the perfect reference guide, written in plain English. And for virtualisation I have found it!
It is absolutely massive - 450 pages. And it has only one subject - virtualisation, virtualisation, virtualisation. But the chapter titles tell you that it's just what you need:
And it's got a brilliant index too, so that next time somebody says "failover clustering", you can look it up slyly on your laptop, and join the conversation.
So if you want to learn more about the latest Microsoft virtualisation technologies, so that you can differentiate your Hyper-V from your Remote Desktop Services, then this is the job. And it also covers Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, and Microsoft’s private and public cloud computing platforms including Windows Azure. (No wonder it needs 450 pages.)
And best of all, the PDF is free, so stick it on your desktop now:
Download it free: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions: From the Desktop to the Datacenter, 2nd Edition