First workload deployed using rancher

Hi all,
I am brand new to working with both K8’s and rancher. I used a guide I found online to deploy rancher in my vSphere home lab, and from there I was able to create my first cluster using versions v1.28.10+k3s1 and v1.28.9+rke2r1.

First question, is there any reason to use the lower level version? Shouldn’t I always be using v1.28.10+k3s1 if possible?

Second question, is there a simple guide somewhere which can walk me through deploying my first basic workload?

Third questions, I understand I need to install vSphere CSI and CPI if I intent do use persistent volumes. I understand what a persistent volume is in a virtualized setting, but does it mean something very different when referring to containers? In the VMware world there aren’t many instances where you don’t use persistent volumes, so I’m assuming PV’s aren’t used exactly the same way in K8’s and I may not actually require them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and if there are any introductory guides you could direct me to it would be greatly appreciated!