What skills do you need for VMware?

VMware is a company that provides cloud computing and virtualization software and services. Working with VMware products requires certain skills and knowledge. Here is an overview of the main skills needed to effectively work with VMware solutions.

What skills do you need for VMware?

Technical Skills

Understanding of virtualization and cloud concepts – You need a solid grasp of server virtualization, storage virtualization, network virtualization, and cloud computing concepts to properly architect and manage VMware environments. Knowledge of private, public and hybrid clouds is also important.

Storage and networking skills – Skills in storage technologies like SAN, NAS, and VSAN are critical for configuring shared storage in a virtual environment. Networking skills like configuring VLANs, vSwitches, load balancers and VPNs allow you to create robust VMware networks.

OS, hardware, and application knowledge – Since VMware allows you to virtualize servers, storage, networks and desktops, you need skills related to installing OSes like Windows and Linux, hardware configuration, and deploying applications in VMs.

Scripting and programming abilities – To automate management and configuration of VMware products, scripting skills in PowerShell, Python, Perl or other languages are valuable. Programming skills in .NET, Java, C# etc. allow custom application development.

Monitoring and troubleshooting expertise – Performance monitoring and troubleshooting skills let you track resource usage, identify performance bottlenecks, fix errors and ensure high availability of your VMware environment.

Data center operational skills – As VMware is used to power enterprise data centers, operational skills like capacity planning, business continuity planning and following IT service management (ITSM) best practices are important.

Software and Solution Skills

VMware vSphere skills – vSphere is VMware’s foundational hypervisor platform. Skills in installing, configuring and managing vSphere components like ESXi hypervisors, vCenter Server, vMotion, HA, DRS and VMware Tools are essential.

VMware vSAN skills – vSAN provides software-defined storage for vSphere. You need expertise in designing, deploying, and managing vSAN clusters, storage policies, disk groups, caching tiers and objects.

VMware NSX skills – NSX allows software-defined networking and security for VMs and containers. Skills in implementing NSX networks, distributing firewalls and load balancers, and configuring security policies are in demand.

VMware Horizon skills – Horizon is VMware’s solution for desktop and app virtualization. Skills like building desktop pools, managing user access, configuring policies, and creating RDSH farms are needed.

VMware Tanzu and Kubernetes skills – With Kubernetes becoming popular for container management, skills with VMware’s Tanzu application platform and managing Kubernetes clusters on vSphere are valuable for organizations using VMware.

Multi-cloud and cloud management skills – VMware also offers multi-cloud management platforms. Expertise with tools like vRealize Suite, Cloud Health and VMware Cloud is useful for hybrid and multi-cloud VMware environments.

Professional Skills

In addition to technical expertise, some key professional skills needed for a successful VMware career include:

  • Planning and analytical abilities – Critical for properly architecting VMware solutions to meet business needs
  • Time and project management skills – Useful for delivering VMware projects on schedule
  • Communication and documentation skills – Needed for coordinating teams and creating useful reference docs
  • Business and financial acumen – Important for demonstrating value of investments in VMware tools
  • Leadership qualities – Helpful when guiding teams or managing enterprise infrastructure

Cultivating these professional talents makes you a well-rounded VMware professional.

Key Takeaways:

  • Technical skills like virtualization, storage, networking, OS, hardware and application knowledge are critical for VMware.
  • You need expertise with key VMware platforms like vSphere, vSAN, NSX and Horizon.
  • Scripting, monitoring, troubleshooting and cloud management abilities give you flexibility.
  • Professional skills in planning, project management, communication and leadership enable success.
  • A combination of technical and professional talents makes a highly capable VMware professional.


Working with VMware software requires both hard technical skills and soft professional abilities. Mastering virtualization, storage, networking, cloud and OS/hardware concepts gives you the foundational infrastructure knowledge needed for VMware environments. Developing expertise around VMware’s core platforms like vSphere, vSAN and NSX makes you proficient with key product solutions.

Augmenting your technical skills with project management, communication and analytical talents transforms you into a well-rounded VMware professional. With technology landscapes constantly evolving, being a flexible lifelong learner lets you stay relevant. Combining infrastructure expertise along with business acumen and leadership gives you the comprehensive skill-set to thrive in a VMware career.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What programming languages are most useful for working with VMware products?
A: PowerShell and Python are the most helpful programming languages for automating and customizing VMware environments. C# and .NET skills are also useful for custom VMware application development.

Q: What networking skills should I focus on for working with VMware?
A: Key networking skills include configuring virtual switches, distributed switches, VLANs, and load balancers. Expertise with software-defined networking concepts is also valuable for working with VMware NSX environments.

Q: Do I need storage certification to work with VMware vSAN?
A: While storage certifications can be useful, hands-on experience with configuring and troubleshooting vSAN clusters, storage policies, disk groups and objects is essential for developing strong vSAN skills.

Q: Is knowledge of IT service management frameworks like ITIL beneficial for a VMware career?
A: Yes, developing ITSM skills through ITIL certifications helps you to properly integrate, manage and provide support for business critical applications running in VMware environments.

Q: How important are virtualization fundamentals for working with VMware?
A: Very important. You need a solid grasp of compute, network, and storage virtualization concepts across private and public cloud environments before specializing in VMware data center virtualization products.

Q: Which scripting skills are most important for VMware?
A: PowerCLI is the most essential for automating vSphere management. But broader scripting knowledge in PowerShell, Python, Perl and bash are also very useful for tackling automation across the wider VMware portfolio.

Q: Should I learn about containers and Kubernetes for working with VMware?
A: Yes, containers and Kubernetes expertise is becoming crucial even in VMware environments to take advantage of VMware Tanzu capabilities for modern application development.

Q: What are the most popular VMware certifications today?
A: The VCP-DCV certification covering core vSphere skills remains popular. The VCP-NV NFV certification and VCP-CMA cloud management certifications are also in demand by employers.

Q: Is knowledge of hypervisors from other vendors useful for a VMware career?
A: Yes, experience in cross-hypervisor environments gives you flexibility to work across data center infrastructure. Understanding contrasts between vSphere and Hyper-V or KVM highlights unique VMware capabilities.

Q: How important are soft skills for succeeding in a VMware job role?
A: Very – communication, collaboration, analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities enable infrastructure teams to deliver complex virtualized environments. Technical skills open doors, but soft skills determine long-term job success.

Q: What are some common career paths in VMware specializations?
A: Common career paths include virtual infrastructure architect, vSAN specialist, VMware cloud architect, VMware network administrator and Horizon desktop engineer. Senior roles include VMware Architect, Lead Engineer and VMware Consultant.

Q: Is certification or hands-on experience more valued in VMware job roles?
A: While VMware certifications validate your knowledge, real-world hands-on experience in deploying and managing VMware infrastructure is considered more valuable by most employers.

Q: What emerging skills should I develop for working with VMware?
A: Multi-cloud management, containerization with vSphere integrations, infrastructure-as-code automation methodologies, and monitoring/analytics platforms tuned for virtual environments.

Q: How can I gain practical experience with VMware software without access to enterprise infrastructure?
A: Homelabs, hands-on labs, community editions of VMware products, nested lab environments, and public cloud trials of VMware software can provide practical experience and demonstrating skills.

Q: Why is application knowledge still important when modern apps run on abstracted infrastructure?
A: Even though applications abstract infrastructure, understanding interdependencies, monitoring resource contention, and fixing compatibility issues requires application awareness – critical for infrastructure teams during troubleshooting.


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