Setting up a virtualized home lab?

RedGaiterRedGaiter Posts: 83Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi guys, I know I post here often, I have some questions and you're all the best!

What would be the best way to set up a virtualized home lab for server 2012? Should I install 2012 on a physical machine, and run all the VMs through it, or should I just set up multiple VMs through my Windows 8.1 OS?

Also, this is a complete noob question, but how many instances of 2012 should I be running to set up a complete lab, and should I be running any Windows 7/8 VMs as clients to simulate user groups and whatnot?

Comments

  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I would say it depends on your hardware. Do you have a machine you can dedicate to installing Server 2012 or would you have to install it on your desktop. If you only have 1 desktop and don't have another machine to dedicate to labbing then I would use 8.1 and run Hyper-V. If you have a machine that you can dedicate to labbing only then I would put 2012 on it and go from there. You will probably want atleast 2 vm's for DC's/dns/dhcp and then maybe another 2 or so for whatever else you want to test or setup. You will want a couple clients setup so you can test different GPO's/users/permissions and various things like that.
  • RedGaiterRedGaiter Posts: 83Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would say it depends on your hardware. Do you have a machine you can dedicate to installing Server 2012 or would you have to install it on your desktop. If you only have 1 desktop and don't have another machine to dedicate to labbing then I would use 8.1 and run Hyper-V. If you have a machine that you can dedicate to labbing only then I would put 2012 on it and go from there. You will probably want atleast 2 vm's for DC's/dns/dhcp and then maybe another 2 or so for whatever else you want to test or setup. You will want a couple clients setup so you can test different GPO's/users/permissions and various things like that.

    I have a pretty decent home PC right now. I was thinking of just dual-booting Windows 8.1 with Server 2012 to get the best of both worlds, but I think I may just run all the VMs through 8.1
  • tstrip007tstrip007 Posts: 306Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Why not use VMware Workstation?
  • RedGaiterRedGaiter Posts: 83Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    tstrip007 wrote: »
    Why not use VMware Workstation?

    Can't afford the product license right now. I'm using the 30 day trial in the meantime.
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,596Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do you have the pro version of 8.1 installed? If I remember right, that is the version that comes with Hyper-V as an option. If not, consider VirtualBox.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • RedGaiterRedGaiter Posts: 83Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    stryder144 wrote: »
    Do you have the pro version of 8.1 installed? If I remember right, that is the version that comes with Hyper-V as an option. If not, consider VirtualBox.

    Yes, I'm running 8.1 Pro
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have been toying with this same thing lately.
    Is there a big benefit to vmware workstation over virtual box for home labs?


    I am currently working on a windows 7 desktop and windows 8 laptop but I am also considering buying a server off ebay. I just want to wait till I learn a little more about what I'm using and what I need.

    Thanks for any feedback.
    Jon
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    RedGaiter wrote: »
    Can't afford the product license right now. I'm using the 30 day trial in the meantime.

    Just use Hyper-V in 8.1 it will do everything you need for labbing.
  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIPosts: 1,854Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    tstrip007 wrote: »
    Why not use VMware Workstation?

    Always curious to know why people would suggest VMWare over Hyper-V here. Hyper-V is heavily covered in the MCSA topics, VMWare is not.
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,596Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    alan2308 wrote: »
    Always curious to know why people would suggest VMWare over Hyper-V here. Hyper-V is heavily covered in the MCSA topics, VMWare is not.

    I think Hyper-V doesn't come to the fore of most people's minds since so few people are running the Pro versions of 8.x.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • jahman182jahman182 Posts: 51Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    alan2308 wrote: »
    Always curious to know why people would suggest VMWare over Hyper-V here. Hyper-V is heavily covered in the MCSA topics, VMWare is not.

    You are more likely to find VMWare in a work environment than you would Hyper-V but this is from my experience. I do understand you take on Hyper-V from the Cert point of view though as this is MS late push into virtulization.
  • nachodbanachodba USPosts: 194Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I used VMware workstation as it was free for me and I found that Hyper-V was running quite flaky on my wireless connection, even after changing Wireless Network Adapters and reconfiguring the virtual switch (I was unable to hard-wire in and my VM's would randomly drop connection).
    2019/2020 Certification Goals - Oracle Database 12c R2 Administration Certified Professional, CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+), Project Management Professional, VMWare Certified Professional 6.5 Data Center Virtualization
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