How to Learn VMWare (vSphere, View)

I'm new to VMWare and just started working at an organization who is using it.  They are using vSphere and just finishing an implementation of VDI (View 4.5).  I'm getting great experience with on the job training, but would like to work with it in a non-production environment at home.  I just downloaded vSphere and will install it, but that's just a 60 day trial.  Is that the best method?  Does VMWare have anything like TechNet where you can download the products for use in a non production environment with no time limit?
Kram80Asked:
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
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Kram80Author Commented:
Good resource danm66.  Have not stumbled across that one yet.  Will look at it further.  Anything that is more hands on?  Virtual labs?  I can read, but sometimes hands on experience is very valuable.  And maybe that's part of the bootcamp, just haven't read that far yet.
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_26267472.html has a couple of links worth checking out.  

I was put through the classes and other training, but running ESX(i) as a VM within VMware Workstation is a great way to host multiple servers on a decent desktop/laptop.  You can create some VM's within those VM hosts but don't worry about installing an OS within any of the VM's you created on those virtual hosts...just assign some memory and processor and you'll still be able to see how the various pieces work.  You can download a 60-day trial of Workstation, too.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Ask your Employeer if there are a VMware Partner for NFR License Keys.

VMware Certified Associate 4 - Desktop
http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=19733&ui=www_cert
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Kram80Author Commented:
I think the NFR license is exactly what I'm looking for.  Sounds like if you get a VCP cert, then you get NFR licenses?  As I'm not a VCP, I will check with my employer.

Can the NFR license be used for vSphere and VDI products?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No, you do not necessarily get NFR if you are a VCP!

If your employer is a VMware Partner, they will have NFR licenses for use, for Demo and Sales. These can be used for vSphere and VDI products.

It might be worth an email/letter to the product teams, request nicely, a long Evaluation License to Help your Learning Activities.
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Kram80Author Commented:
Thanks for all the information.  We are working with a partner for VDI, so maybe it would be worth asking them?  I'm guessing each partner gets a certain # of NFRs (?), so who knows if they will want to use one up.

Sounds like my best route my be to work with the trials, try to get a long eval, and check with our partner on the NFRs.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Of course, you can download the Trials which last for 60-90 days at a time, and just download a new trial again!
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Kram80Author Commented:
That's what I was going to do originally.  But I didn't know if that would work since your trial is associated with your account.  If it's ok, I'm going to split the points, you both were helpful.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Hint: Create a New Account!
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