What is the easiest way to learn VMware

I am currently looking into learning VMWare for my job, and I want to do a small setup at home so I can learn my way around before shipping myself off to an expensive training session.

So I guess I am after 2 things. Firstly, what is the best way for me to learn VMWare in terms of making a home setup for testing?

And what is the best and easiest way for me to get a virtual machine up on my Vista home laptop for a Linux distro with LAMP.

I must add, I do not fully understand the different software types that VMWare can supply, so any explanation would also be welcome when suggesting software.

Cheers guys and girls.

Who is Participating?
Joseph DalyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The best way to learn is just to try it. The good thing for you is that VMware offers two free products for you to use. VMware server and VMware converter.

VMware server lets youc reate and run VM files. While the VM converter lets you take images of existing machines to bring into the virtual environment.

Getting up and running isnt that hard at all.
Joseph DalyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Here are the links for you to DL

VM Server
VM Converter
brent_caskeyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Which VMWare product are you trying to use? I assume that you are talking about ESX server....

The way that I am currently learning and testing VMWare ESX is by using VMWare Workstation. With Workstation 6.5, you can run a VMWare Infrastructure all from within Workstation. The best way that I learn a product is by using it.

The installation steps on how to get an ESX system to work under Workstation can be found at the following link:

(In case the above link doesnt work, goto http://knowledge.xtravirt.com/white-papers.html and search for the VI3.5 in a box white paper)

I was able to get the following (with a lot of tweaking) to run on a 2GB ram Intel core 2 duo laptop with only 10GB HDD free:

1 Windows 2003 server - running Virtual Center
1 OpenFiler Linux NAS/SAN VM (for iscsi storage and for testing vmotion)

In the esx VMs, I used a basic router VM and Nostalgia VM to test that vmotion works. I used these due to the small space and low resources needed.

I would recommend having at least 4GB RAM and 25 GB HDD free if you can. The processor also needs to support Virtualization Technology.

You can download trials of all the products listed above from either VMWare's or Microsoft's site.
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kyleb84Connect With a Mentor Commented:
VMWare Server - This is can be installed in windows xp/vista and acts as a service in the background, you can install Linux (and others) in as many "virtual machines" are you system resources will allow using a fairly easy interface.

It's free and should be your starting point.

VMWare ESX and ESXi - These are an Operating System, enterprise grade and "basic grade" respectively. The latter is also free and both has some pretty strict guidelines on what hardware is supported/required to install.

Those versions are for more permanent/production level VM's
brent_caskeyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I was lucky enough to be able to go to the VMWare ESX training course to learn as well. It is a bit pricey, but well worth it and the only way that you can get the certification.

Otherwise, you can hit sites like http://www.virtualizationadmin.com/ for some articles on ESX server. They have a writer that posts some great articles by the name of David Davis. He also has a training course that you can buy from TrainSignal that isnt too bad:  http://www.trainsignal.com/VMware-ESX-Server-Training-P14.aspx
techvagabondAuthor Commented:
Thanks Guys. Info taken on board.
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