How to get familiar and confident in VMWare? Suggestions? Newbie wanting to get certified.

Hi so I’m finishing up my BS in IT from WGU. Passed my CompTIA A+ already, studying for Security+.
I know many jobs want VMWare Experience, it’s a standard now.
My question was how do I get familiar with it? Are their simulations I can get? Courses? Idk if Udemy is a good fit since it’s all just video.
Any suggestions for getting familiar and knowing VMWare being self taught?

I want to get certified in it, idk how hard that certification is, I want to be certified and be CONFIDENT not just take an exam and still be unknowing of what to do in the real world.

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  1. If you Google all your questions will be answered. There’s TONS of information online, training, labs etc. Next look at a small homelab setup. Again, just search reddit or Google.

  2. Buy some old Xeon E5-2600v2 servers off eBay as DDR3 RDIMMs are dirt cheap. You’ll eventually want experience with other software as well, and they can act as a foundation for that.

  3. Definitely set up a vSphere home lab. Two physical servers. They can be refurb Optiplexes, or you can get “real” enterprise hardware, off-lease, via eBay or elsewhere. Each server will need as much RAM as you can cram in them. Disk… A couple of terabytes each, but shared storage, like a NAS, would be even better.

    ESXi nests well, so you can create as many more “servers” as you can keep track of. Just need RAM and disk. If you’re going to nest ESXi, look at SSD storage instead of spinning disk for your local storage.

  4. Seeing some other comments just want to point out that VMware isn’t just a datacenter hypervisor company. It’s also Cloud Management and Automation, Networking and Security, End User Computing and now even DevOps or Cloud Native Apps. List goes on.

    vSphere admins isn’t a job going away anytime soon but as others have pointed out public cloud has changed things a fair bit. Apps can run elsewhere now. It’s all about the Hybrid Cloud now. And in my opinion it has only made it way more interesting!

    Heck, if infrastructure admin isn’t even your thing at all, you don’t even need to bother with vSphere…e.g. You like coding and IT automation?Check out vRealize Automation Cloud/vRealize Automation. Or networking? look at NSX.

    Hands on labs is best place to start, it’s free.

  5. Contrarian thought here.

    VMware might have a large installed base now but it will be superseded by cloud providers. I’ve been VMware for 10 years and was a Windows admin before that. My company is moving everything to the cloud. ( A day late and boatload of money short, but it’s finally happening.) Most of the detail technical knowledge from Windows and VMware won’t be needed. Just the general “this is how OPS should work” experience will transfer.

    Maybe skipping the legacy tech and starting with the future tech is the better choice.

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