Runecast Academy

Where to learn more about topics in this series

In this article we cover how to satisfy your hunger for learning or what steps you need to take to get certified.

Welcome back to Runecast Academy. Last time, we looked at getting started with APIs, Powershell and command lines, so hopefully this whet your appetite to learn more. In this final chapter of this series, we take a look at additional learning resources to help you and your IT journey. The fire hose of knowledge can sometimes come at you full on and you want to learn more about VMware and you are not sure where to start. Well, below is a list collated to help you get started, no matter what stage you are in your career.

A few of the topics covered here include:

  • VMUGs, Hands-On Labs
  • Certifications
  • Books, Blogs, and Podcasts

Runecast Academy Series 1 – Part 12. Where to learn more about topics in this series


I cannot stress enough how much VMUGs really helped me to learn new knowledge or even about new vendors and how to do things. All I can implore is that you head to a VMUG virtual these days – or in person when it's safe – as I can assure you that I have learnt so much more in networking with people there than I have in reading books or articles. If you are lucky enough, some of the events even have some of the vRockstars there of which you can ask questions, so do not be shy. 

Hands-On Labs

The VMware HOL’s are one of the places I like to hang out especially when new features are released and can be found here. Many of the labs are very well backed with hardware, so they are quick and easy to use with great complementing guides on the subject matter. This was the first place I managed to play with VMware on AWS as I am sure I would have not got away with committing to a year! 

VMUG Advantage

What happens if you have a lab at work or better yet a home lab, these days even most decent laptops can run a lab with VMware Workstation. Well one way to get your hands on the products and also exams discounts is to sign up for VMUG Advantage. For $200 you get a lot, and even one or two exam passes nearly starts to pay for it, let alone all the things you will learn from access to things like VSAN and Horizon. This also includes a copy of VMware Workstation or Fusion.

Deep-Dive Books

The deep-dive books are invaluable when you really need to go a bit further into the relevant subject matter, and luckily some of these are still being given away. You can get the VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive free here

And then also the Clustering Deep Dive book here

If you can afford it, please support the writers by getting them from your local bookshop.

VSAN 6.7 Deep Dive

Vsphere Clustering Deep Dive 


Some of you reading this will like to be able to prove what you know and therefore love that certification hamster wheel. I know the VCP track is not the cheapest if you are just starting out, or even if your company does not have a massive training budget. One way of doing the exam and all the prep can be enrolling at the Stanly Community college. This really helped me, as I could do it remotely in the UK and again the labs worked well when I needed to learn the topics. You also get a discount voucher on the exams you need to take. This is a great way to spend a few hours (especially with COVID working from home) and having this on in the background and bettering yourself. Stanly Community College 

That said, if you can get your boss to pay and take the time off for it, then head here as at the moment there is a exam voucher with the course too: Beta Classes

And check here regularly, as there always seems to be some form of offer on:


Below, I have put a few blogs of which have been essential to my career and learning. 

William Lam is a Senior Staff Solution Architect working in the VMware Cloud team within the Cloud Services Business Unit (CSBU) at VMware, and his blog covers just about everything, but I mainly use it for all my home labs and the same love of Apple products (previously vGhetto)

Duncan Epping is a Chief Technologist in the Office of CTO of the Cloud Platform BU and he is one of the co writers of the deep dive books, but I always catch his talks and blogs as they always help me think about approaching things in different ways 

Frank Denneman is a Chief Technologist in the Office of CTO of the Cloud Platform BU and his blog is my go to for many things, especially when trying to explain NUMA!

Last but not least, Alan Renouf Sr Product Line Manager for Spatial Computing (VR/AR/MR) at VMware over at Prior to all the VR stuff he did, of which I have a few articles on and have even demoed at a VMUG, I first came across all his PowerCLI goodness, especially his vCheck Daily Report that was nice to get if I ever had to go away and I knew things were still running as expected.


It’s a shameless plug, but of which I do with a few great friends. We try to put a fun spin on tech news (with our own little UK twist) and try to cover a variety of topics. We have even been lucky enough to interview former VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger  and Sanjay Poonen

The Virtually Speaking Podcast is a weekly technical podcast dedicated to discussing VMware topics related to storage and availability. Each week Pete Flecha and John Nicholson bring in various subject matter experts from VMware and within the industry to discuss their respective areas of expertise. 

Another is Nerd Journey which is all about IT Pro Career Progression and General Discussion with John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_).

They say you save the best for last, and that's Real Job Talk from Kathleen Nelson Troyer & Liz Bronson ( Again this one really helps you with the soft skills that you may also need to progress in your career.

Finally, exam prep

Firstly, if you came here to find exam dumps, move on…

Honestly, do learn this stuff – it will really help!

Below are study guides for VCP-DCV 2020 as the  2V0-21.19 exam expires June 2021:

  • Veeam has published a guide here 
  • Vladan Seget’s page is always great for stuff like this currently here but has the latest elements in there for the later exam and he is currently creating a new page
  • Shane Williford also has a great PDF here

Gareth Edwards

Gareth has worked across multiple sectors as a sysadmin and is a massive advocate of the #vCommunity being a leader for the UKVMUG. He is a 6 times vExpert along with a vExpert Pro mentoring people into the program. Prior to his role at Runecast he was a Systems Engineer for a large eco friendly energy firm going through a digital transformation. This tied in well with his hobbies outside of work with his love for self sustainability and home automation. You can find Gareth at his blog and also as a co-host on the OpenTechCast podcast. Find him on Twitter @GarethEdwards86.

All Academy articles
No items found.