Help setting up home lab for MCSA

rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all,

I am new to he forums. But I thought might be good place to get some help on setting up a home lab for my MCSA studies.

I would like to setup a lab to work along with guide book I got:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/111885991X/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have my home network setup right now using:

10.0.1.X
255.255.255.0
10.0.1.1

We have a lot of devices running on that network including my home theater. I would like to put lab on different network so as to not cause any issues.

I have my Cox Cable (ISP) going into my Netgear Nighthawk router. There I can provided WiFi access etc. The router is doing DHCP.

From the Netgear I am running from it into a HP Procurve 2910al-24G Switch. All my home network stuff is connected to this switch of course other than WiFi.

Now for the Lab network I picked up a Dell 2950 server with 2 quad core CPUs, 8GB ram and have 6 drives installed. Not sure yet how want to setup the drives but plan is to install Windows 2012 R2 Std on it.

So my question is what would be best way without costing a lot to break this apart for my MCSA lab? I would like to be able to access the server etc from my desktop PC via Remote desktop etc. My understanding is with server I should be able to setup VM servers for the other roles etc I will need to training.

Comments

  • SkellySkelly Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Dell 2950s, eh? i have a couple of those in my home lab as well.

    If you don't have a domain controller on your home network, you're going to need to setup the OS on the 2950 as a DC to start, then you can ad the Hyper-V role. If I remember correctly, the Windows Server version of Hyper-V can only be installed in a domain. The Windows 8.1 version doesn't require a domain. The server will need a 10.0.1.x address on your network. You will use this address to connect from your desktop PC.

    Next, you will need to setup an Internal virtual switch in Hyper-V. This will enable your VMs to talk to each other and the host OS which is your DC, but not to the other stuff on your network. You can access the VMs from the Virtual Machine Connection Manager when you RDP from your PC.

    Basically, you will need to know how to setup and configure Hyper-V, so that you can learn how to setup and configure Hyper-V.

    It's really not that hard to do.

    BTW: I would recommend that you increase your memory to at least 16GB..eBay is your friend.
    2014 Goals: SCCM 2012 -Passed! MCSA 2012 -In progress, MCSE 2012 Server, MCSE Private Cloud
  • rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    Dell 2950s, eh? i have a couple of those in my home lab as well.

    If you don't have a domain controller on your home network, you're going to need to setup the OS on the 2950 as a DC to start, then you can ad the Hyper-V role. If I remember correctly, the Windows Server version of Hyper-V can only be installed in a domain. The Windows 8.1 version doesn't require a domain. The server will need a 10.0.1.x address on your network. You will use this address to connect from your desktop PC.

    Next, you will need to setup an Internal virtual switch in Hyper-V. This will enable your VMs to talk to each other and the host OS which is your DC, but not to the other stuff on your network. You can access the VMs from the Virtual Machine Connection Manager when you RDP from your PC.

    Basically, you will need to know how to setup and configure Hyper-V, so that you can learn how to setup and configure Hyper-V.

    It's really not that hard to do.

    BTW: I would recommend that you increase your memory to at least 16GB..eBay is your friend.

    Thanks for the reply. I am planning on getting 16gb of ram in next few days.

    I am still not sure as to how to set this all up. Should I get another router to separate to networks?
  • AlceoAlceo Posts: 80Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    rmilyard wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply. I am planning on getting 16gb of ram in next few days.

    if you don't want your VMs to interact with your network you can simply set up the
    virtual switch as internal, they will communicate only with the host and between them.
  • rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well I was able to pick up 32gb for $45 at local surplus warehouse. All 32g Dell branded 4gb x 8 sticks.
  • rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    So my thoughts were if I can use the Dell 2950 basically for the whole lab setup. I was thinking install 2012 R2 std on it. Then setup VMs for other server I would need on the 2950. Not sure how to keep this setup from missing with my home network on 10.0.1.X network. The server is in closet so after getting OS installed no monitor. I would use my home desktop PC to remote in and access this all. Sorry I am pretty new when comes to setting something like this up.
  • ecuadraecuadra Posts: 42Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would suggest buying a router or L3 switch to separate your home network with your lab network. I personally have a L3 switch separating them. You can get a cheap router from ebay as well. 1841/2811 router will do. You will have to configure the router a bit though but that should not be too difficult even if you have never touched the Cisco ios.
  • rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I picked up a cheap Netgear 100/1000 router. So need to work on this weekend. Going to 32gb ram. Also adding DRAC that came. As for drives not sure yet. But thinking OS on the 3 73gb 15k SAS drives in raid5. Only have laying around either 3 80gb sata, 2 250gb sata and a 160gb sata drive. Also might change later the PERC5i to PERC6i someone said has and will give me.
  • David71David71 Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I don't know what speed you have in a 2950 since we are an HP shop here. FWIW, my home lab is a single laptop. A singe Dell M4800 with the best i7 at that time. It came with 8 gigs an I added 16 more for 24. I would have liked less (eg 2) and then I could have filled the thing up with 32 gigs (for now the original 8 fills 2 of the 4 slots and I can't bring myself to waste 8 gigs, if I have a way to trade or give to family the 8 gig, I will buy 16 more for the 32)..but for now 24 gig is fine and a terabyte SSD. Total hardware cost ~1800 dollars.

    With that in mind.... On that laptop, I have Windows 8.1 and then VM workstation 11 with 3 subnets setup. I start with one 2012r2 domain controller and it also runs SQL 2012 SP1. I then have another machine running EMC Celerra simulator for presenting iScsi to whatever I want it to. Then I have a EMC VNX simulator for presenting NFS... (I will also in the future be playing with VIPR). Moving on from there, I have one ESXi 5.5 running. Then I have 2012r2 member server running Vcenter. Then I have another 2012r2 member server running Xenapp/Xendesktop 7.6. Both Xenapp and Vcenter databases reside on the aforementioned D.C. that I talked about in the beginning. Within the Vsphere I have several machines spun up for certain things like I clustered a couple of 2012r2 SQL servers and playing around with MCS in XenAPP... With all that started, I am close to maxing out on memory, (sidenote, I never have my two SAN sims going at the same time). So, 32 gigs would be nice... Not bad for a single laptop..... so if your server has some beefy processor you should be able to hit it with a lot. So my question I like yours.... I still have 500 gig left on my SSD.... Anyone have any suggestions on a config for some good Microsoft labs? Eg. 1 for Hypervisor, 1 for SCVVM, etc etc?
  • SkellySkelly Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    rmilyard wrote: »
    I picked up a cheap Netgear 100/1000 router. So need to work on this weekend. Going to 32gb ram. Also adding DRAC that came. As for drives not sure yet. But thinking OS on the 3 73gb 15k SAS drives in raid5. Only have laying around either 3 80gb sata, 2 250gb sata and a 160gb sata drive. Also might change later the PERC5i to PERC6i someone said has and will give me.

    Which model 2950 do you have, I, II, or III? The major difference is drive size, the later models are 2.5 inch. If you're trying to save money, you can use SATA drives instead of SAS. You'll lose a bit of performance, but that probably won't be noticeable in a a lab setup. You can get the drive enclosures on eBay dirt cheap.
    2014 Goals: SCCM 2012 -Passed! MCSA 2012 -In progress, MCSE 2012 Server, MCSE Private Cloud
  • rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    Which model 2950 do you have, I, II, or III? The major difference is drive size, the later models are 2.5 inch. If you're trying to save money, you can use SATA drives instead of SAS. You'll lose a bit of performance, but that probably won't be noticeable in a a lab setup. You can get the drive enclosures on eBay dirt cheap.

    I have a Gen II. It came with (3) 73gb SAS drives.

    Right now I have the (3)SAS in RAID5 for OS
    Added (2) 250gb SATA drives I had in RAID0 for DATA
    Also had (1) 160gb SATA I just added because I could.
  • SkellySkelly Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    David71 wrote: »
    I don't know what speed you have in a 2950 since we are an HP shop here. FWIW, my home lab is a single laptop. A singe Dell M4800 with the best i7 at that time. It came with 8 gigs an I added 16 more for 24. I would have liked less (eg 2) and then I could have filled the thing up with 32 gigs (for now the original 8 fills 2 of the 4 slots and I can't bring myself to waste 8 gigs, if I have a way to trade or give to family the 8 gig, I will buy 16 more for the 32)..but for now 24 gig is fine and a terabyte SSD. Total hardware cost ~1800 dollars.

    With that in mind.... On that laptop, I have Windows 8.1 and then VM workstation 11 with 3 subnets setup. I start with one 2012r2 domain controller and it also runs SQL 2012 SP1. I then have another machine running EMC Celerra simulator for presenting iScsi to whatever I want it to. Then I have a EMC VNX simulator for presenting NFS... (I will also in the future be playing with VIPR). Moving on from there, I have one ESXi 5.5 running. Then I have 2012r2 member server running Vcenter. Then I have another 2012r2 member server running Xenapp/Xendesktop 7.6. Both Xenapp and Vcenter databases reside on the aforementioned D.C. that I talked about in the beginning. Within the Vsphere I have several machines spun up for certain things like I clustered a couple of 2012r2 SQL servers and playing around with MCS in XenAPP... With all that started, I am close to maxing out on memory, (sidenote, I never have my two SAN sims going at the same time). So, 32 gigs would be nice... Not bad for a single laptop..... so if your server has some beefy processor you should be able to hit it with a lot. So my question I like yours.... I still have 500 gig left on my SSD.... Anyone have any suggestions on a config for some good Microsoft labs? Eg. 1 for Hypervisor, 1 for SCVVM, etc etc?

    Not trying to threadcrap, just curious: Why are you using VM workstation on top of Windows 8.1 when you can get versions of Windows 8.x with Hyper-V built in? Seems it would be cheaper and less resource intensive to go as native as possible.

    Again, just curious.
    2014 Goals: SCCM 2012 -Passed! MCSA 2012 -In progress, MCSE 2012 Server, MCSE Private Cloud
  • rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    Not trying to threadcrap, just curious: Why are you using VM workstation on top of Windows 8.1 when you can get versions of Windows 8.x with Hyper-V built in? Seems it would be cheaper and less resource intensive to go as native as possible.

    Again, just curious.


    I had the server do thought why not use it. Plus using hardware is nice. Since server is pretty good and 32gb RAM I can install VMs on it. Also trying to keep it from affected my home network at all. I have pretty big home setup. I run a Home Server system that serves up all my media on the home network.

    I can have the Lab server DCHP and DNS messing thing up on Home side.
  • David71David71 Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    Not trying to threadcrap, just curious: Why are you using VM workstation on top of Windows 8.1 when you can get versions of Windows 8.x with Hyper-V built in? Seems it would be cheaper and less resource intensive to go as native as possible.

    Again, just curious.

    Well, honestly I have owned VMware workstation so long, I just buy it everytime it comes out. I think it is only 99 dollars for the upgrade usually once a year. I have owned it so darn long it is just second nature to me... Another reason is that I was always loved the VMware platform...(not trying to be a fanboy here, just stating my opinion) so I don't mind giving them 99 a year and hope they put it towards some good R&D.... e.g. Capitalism... I have also read in more than a few places that sometimes Hyper-v doesn't play so nice with Linux stuff and since EMC DART runs on Linux and I use ESXi 5.5 and they both run bullet proof on Vmware, I figured.. why the heck not, as I don't like headaches with Linux..... Also, If I have a project that I need to work on at home, I can, and then import easily into Vsphere at work.

    I loaded hyperV like you said at work on my 8.1 machine and fired up VMware 11 and saw little performance difference...

    Anyhow....for a home lab,how does this sound....

    1.) Will already use my present AD controller/SQL server

    Recommends on the resources for the rest please....am telling you all my guesses.

    2.) 1 HyperV running manager (is manager needed if runnin SCVVM?) .... 2 proc 4 gig and 100 gig local SSD storage
    3.) 1 HyperV 2 proc 4 gig and I was thinking of presenting storage from VNX... but I read you can you use 2012r2 (at least as an iScsi target) and if so is it worth time to use a 2012 server to present some storage or is that even worth the bother? Along those lines, can you present File Storage from 2012r2?
    4.) A server running SCVMM, not sure what I need for resources here...

    Anything else I need to consider or some suggestions? TIA for any suggestions and words of wisdom...
  • SkellySkelly Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    David71 wrote: »
    Well, honestly I have owned VMware workstation so long, I just buy it everytime it comes out. I think it is only 99 dollars for the upgrade usually once a year. I have owned it so darn long it is just second nature to me... Another reason is that I was always loved the VMware platform...(not trying to be a fanboy here, just stating my opinion) so I don't mind giving them 99 a year and hope they put it towards some good R&D.... e.g. Capitalism... I have also read in more than a few places that sometimes Hyper-v doesn't play so nice with Linux stuff and since EMC DART runs on Linux and I use ESXi 5.5 and they both run bullet proof on Vmware, I figured.. why the heck not, as I don't like headaches with Linux..... Also, If I have a project that I need to work on at home, I can, and then import easily into Vsphere at work.

    I loaded hyperV like you said at work on my 8.1 machine and fired up VMware 11 and saw little performance difference...

    Anyhow....for a home lab,how does this sound....

    1.) Will already use my present AD controller/SQL server

    Recommends on the resources for the rest please....am telling you all my guesses.

    2.) 1 HyperV running manager (is manager needed if runnin SCVVM?) .... 2 proc 4 gig and 100 gig local SSD storage
    3.) 1 HyperV 2 proc 4 gig and I was thinking of presenting storage from VNX... but I read you can you use 2012r2 (at least as an iScsi target) and if so is it worth time to use a 2012 server to present some storage or is that even worth the bother? Along those lines, can you present File Storage from 2012r2?
    4.) A server running SCVMM, not sure what I need for resources here...

    Anything else I need to consider or some suggestions? TIA for any suggestions and words of wisdom...

    Most of the things you can do with Hyper-V Manager, you can do with SCVMM, but there are exceptions. You can run SCVMM in a VM, you can run Hyper-V manager on your Hyper-V machine or on any other machine by loading the RSAT tools.

    W2K12r2 supports iSCSI targets, and also SMB 3.0 which allows you to put VMs on simple file shares, so you don't need VNX. I would use either 2012r2 iSCSI or SMB, since you'll see it on the tests.

    Kind of a chicken or egg thing..you need to know 2012 to setup a proper 2012 lab. icon_lol.gif
    2014 Goals: SCCM 2012 -Passed! MCSA 2012 -In progress, MCSE 2012 Server, MCSE Private Cloud
  • David71David71 Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    Most of the things you can do with Hyper-V Manager, you can do with SCVMM, but there are exceptions. You can run SCVMM in a VM, you can run Hyper-V manager on your Hyper-V machine or on any other machine by loading the RSAT tools.

    W2K12r2 supports iSCSI targets, and also SMB 3.0 which allows you to put VMs on simple file shares, so you don't need VNX. I would use either 2012r2 iSCSI or SMB, since you'll see it on the tests.

    Kind of a chicken or egg thing..you need to know 2012 to setup a proper 2012 lab. icon_lol.gif

    Thank you for your thoughts...Just for clarification, you do recommend using 2012 for storage, because that will be on the test, but you seemed to not be so much for recommending to use an SCVMM server. Is SCVMM even something I have to worry about for MCSE? Especially at this point for myself test 17...... TIA

    Heh..just noticed your location is KC..... If you are referring to U.S... I live near Kansas Speedway myself...
  • SkellySkelly Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    David71 wrote: »
    Thank you for your thoughts...Just for clarification, you do recommend using 2012 for storage, because that will be on the test, but you seemed to not be so much for recommending to use an SCVMM server. Is SCVMM even something I have to worry about for MCSE? Especially at this point for myself test 17...... TIA

    Heh..just noticed your location is KC..... If you are referring to U.S... I live near Kansas Speedway myself...

    Wow! Small world. I live near Shawnee Mission Park, just down the road.

    Yeah, supposedly there's lots of storage stuff covered, so hands on with 2012 storage features would be advantageous. My understanding is that SCVMM is covered on 70-413 and 414, and might be on 412.
    2014 Goals: SCCM 2012 -Passed! MCSA 2012 -In progress, MCSE 2012 Server, MCSE Private Cloud
  • pjd007pjd007 Posts: 277Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    Wow! Small world. I live near Shawnee Mission Park, just down the road.

    Yeah, supposedly there's lots of storage stuff covered, so hands on with 2012 storage features would be advantageous. My understanding is that SCVMM is covered on 70-413 and 414, and might be on 412.
    It's not in 412 from what I've covered.
  • David71David71 Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    Wow! Small world. I live near Shawnee Mission Park, just down the road.

    Yeah, supposedly there's lots of storage stuff covered, so hands on with 2012 storage features would be advantageous. My understanding is that SCVMM is covered on 70-413 and 414, and might be on 412.

    Thank you for that insight and also pjd007 for chiming in. Trying to get through these tests with the
    covered topics is enough (to me) with out studying for topics that won't be covered.

    I spent many a 4th of July watching the Lenexa/Shawnee displays on the greens at Tomahawk, and a few nights
    at Theatre in the Park. To bring this subject on topic.... where do you test at? When I got my first MCSE, I tested
    at JOCO JUCO when the testing was on the Westpark campus in the strip mall on 87th street across from the library. Then
    I went many years without testing when I was working in conjunction with SM Medical Center.. When I went back to get my MCITP, I tried a
    place out on State Line Road (I think).... I don't remember its name but it was a dumpy and dingy place and I didn't concentrate
    well and failed the exam. I went back to JUCO and by this time they moved testing on to the main campus. I passed everyone
    back to back within two months. So just curious, where do you test?
  • SkellySkelly Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    David71 wrote: »
    Thank you for that insight and also pjd007 for chiming in. Trying to get through these tests with the
    covered topics is enough (to me) with out studying for topics that won't be covered.

    I spent many a 4th of July watching the Lenexa/Shawnee displays on the greens at Tomahawk, and a few nights
    at Theatre in the Park. To bring this subject on topic.... where do you test at? When I got my first MCSE, I tested
    at JOCO JUCO when the testing was on the Westpark campus in the strip mall on 87th street across from the library. Then
    I went many years without testing when I was working in conjunction with SM Medical Center.. When I went back to get my MCITP, I tried a
    place out on State Line Road (I think).... I don't remember its name but it was a dumpy and dingy place and I didn't concentrate
    well and failed the exam. I went back to JUCO and by this time they moved testing on to the main campus. I passed everyone
    back to back within two months. So just curious, where do you test?

    I had been testing for long time, until about 2010, then just started back up in January. 99% of the places that I used to test, including JCCC Westpark, don't exist anymore. I've taken the last two at the JCCC campus. That and Centriq (the dingy one) on State Line are the only ones available on this side of the State line at the moment.

    SO which test are you taking next? I'm debating whether to take 70-410 or 70-417.
    2014 Goals: SCCM 2012 -Passed! MCSA 2012 -In progress, MCSE 2012 Server, MCSE Private Cloud
  • David71David71 Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    I had been testing for long time, until about 2010, then just started back up in January. 99% of the places that I used to test, including JCCC Westpark, don't exist anymore. I've taken the last two at the JCCC campus. That and Centriq (the dingy one) on State Line are the only ones available on this side of the State line at the moment.

    SO which test are you taking next? I'm debating whether to take 70-410 or 70-417.

    I am thinking about 70-417, even though it is supposed to be hard. I figure why not
    give it a shot? I am so not ready for it yet though. I will probably spend the next month
    or two doing nothing but labs at night. Is there an outline on what is supposed to be
    on 417? TIA
  • SkellySkelly Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    David71 wrote: »
    I am thinking about 70-417, even though it is supposed to be hard. I figure why not
    give it a shot? I am so not ready for it yet though. I will probably spend the next month
    or two doing nothing but labs at night. Is there an outline on what is supposed to be
    on 417? TIA

    The exam page on MS Learning just groups the objectives for 410,11, and 12, so I guess we need to study for everything.

    I haven't started studying yet either, I'm having to do a brain refresh on SCOM and SCSM at the moment so that I can qualify for a couple of projects.
    2014 Goals: SCCM 2012 -Passed! MCSA 2012 -In progress, MCSE 2012 Server, MCSE Private Cloud
  • David71David71 Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Skelly wrote: »
    The exam page on MS Learning just groups the objectives for 410,11, and 12, so I guess we need to study for everything.

    I haven't started studying yet either, I'm having to do a brain refresh on SCOM and SCSM at the moment so that I can qualify for a couple of projects.

    Good Luck!
  • bohackbohack Posts: 114Member
    I've been teaching Microsoft certifications since 1999, however since 2005 I've been teaching in the classroom with virtualization. I originally started with Virtual PC because it was free, but for the past 7 years VMware Workstation has served me well. I have a couple of recommendations for a home lab:

    8 to 16GB of the fastest RAM
    The fastest CPU you can buy
    Desktop not a laptop (some laptop BIOSs don't allow virtualization)
    Fastest SSD (Samsung or Kingston) hard drive used only for VMs (Don't use it as your only hard drive)

    What I do is detailed in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG3vXlo2q7M. The short of it is you will setup one server as your reference image, sysprep it, shut it down create a restore point and create 3 other linked clones. So you will only consume the storage for the first server, the three others will be differencing disks. That's my secret sauce for the classroom, it's worked well for me for the past 7 or so years.
    ______________________________________________________________

    NetworkedMinds - http://www.youtube.com/networkedminds
    MCSA / MCSE Educational Channel
  • rmilyardrmilyard Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    bohack wrote: »
    I've been teaching Microsoft certifications since 1999, however since 2005 I've been teaching in the classroom with virtualization. I originally started with Virtual PC because it was free, but for the past 7 years VMware Workstation has served me well. I have a couple of recommendations for a home lab:

    8 to 16GB of the fastest RAM
    The fastest CPU you can buy
    Desktop not a laptop (some laptop BIOSs don't allow virtualization)
    Fastest SSD (Samsung or Kingston) hard drive used only for VMs (Don't use it as your only hard drive)

    What I do is detailed in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG3vXlo2q7M. The short of it is you will setup one server as your reference image, sysprep it, shut it down create a restore point and create 3 other linked clones. So you will only consume the storage for the first server, the three others will be differencing disks. That's my secret sauce for the classroom, it's worked well for me for the past 7 or so years.

    Thanks going to check out video. I have a Dell 2950 server with 2 quad core Xeons. They are only 2ghz but that is what I have. It has 32gb ram installed. I don't have any SSD in it but maybe I should get one for it.

    I has 2012 R2 Std installed and running. My plan was install VMware Workstation on it to build a Lab setup.
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