VMware vSphere training and learning materials

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http://serverfault.com – I'm looking to extend my knowledge of vSphere 4 specifically in regards to automation. We have ex-VMware employees here at my company and they've said VMware training is pretty basic and not worth the time. Can anyone recommend any training programs or books for higher than entry level. I realize that's vague but I've used VMware for a number of years but I'd like to dig into best practices for automation and capacity planning. (HowTos)