I've been talking a lot about OpenStack and vBrownBag lately because of the Summit I was at last week. It reminded me of the Couch to OpenStack program vBrownBag set up a while ago. This is an awesome program that you can go through literally knowing nothing about OpenStack to having a fullly working lab in a matter of weeks.
They also tell you how to work with programs like Vagrant to get things up and running in an automated and simple way. Vagrant can be used in several different ways, as well...not just with OpenStack.