Azure Lab

fitzybhoyfitzybhoy Member Posts: 60 ■■■□□□□□□□
I've watching CBT nuggets for 70-410 and the instructor goes quite in-depth about deploying AD in Azure. He also mentions that the monthly costs are neglible.
This got me wondering if using Azure for labbing purposes is not only cost beneficial, does the configuration etc. also gives candidates vital hands-on Azure experience?
Has anyone used this approach before? If so, what where the costs. For 70-410 I would probably deploy a maximum of 3 servers; one AD, a core, an additional server for misc roles and a Win 8.1 for RSAT and testing.

Comments

  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I was preparing last year for AD 2012R2 exam (not sure if its number is 70-410) using Azure. They had a free month at the time. After that I was suggested to pay and I wouldn't say that the cost was negligible. Let me check my e-mails from Microsoft on this...

    They say that they gave me free trial worth $200/month. I just logged on to Azure and selected three VMs with 1.75 GB of RAM and 1 core per VM and a calculator gave me $165/month.

    I wouldn't buy it, honestly. Your own lab will last for years and you can use it to almost any exam you plan to take in upcoming years. Say, buy two microservers, set up two Hyper-V hosts in a cluster and fire up VMs in quantities that your memory allows and use it for years for labbing for ADDS, for general infrastructure, for IIS, for System Center, for SQL, etc.

    I dunno why would anyone choose Azure over your own lab. Free month is okay, other than that -- I skip it.
  • AscetikAscetik Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    You can buy a 1u server on ebay for about the same price and slap a couple drives in it and you're G2G. Costs way less.
  • bohackbohack Member Posts: 114
    My recommendation is to get experience with Azure, as a mixture of cloud services in any environment is inevitable. However, to base your lab work on someone else's CPU cycles is expensive. I would recommend staying away from purchasing used servers as they suck power, create heat and hardware just sucks. Getting the right chips that support virtualization and features you are looking for is also a PIA when shopping on ebay. Focus you time and effort into your home computer. 4 core processor, SSD hard drive for your Virtual Machine storage only, 16 GB of RAM and VMware workstation and you can create a really nice home lab. I have an example video of setting up the lab here https://youtu.be/lG3vXlo2q7M. If you follow that guide you can run Hyper-V inside of VMware and run VM's inside of Hyper-V. Works really well... I just taught a class last night with Windows Server 2012 R2 running inside of Hyper-V on top of VMware Workstation, works really good and with an SSD it's like you have big iron behind it. Again use the Azure to learn Azure and how to create VMs as it's an integral part of infrastructure today.
    ______________________________________________________________

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  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I just signed up for a personal Amazon AWS account yesterday. They have a free tier which includes 750 hours of server uptime a month (if you use more than that, you have to pay).

    I've decided to give AWS a shot for lab purposes. I'm currently going thru some Vagrant and Chef CMS documentation. Once I'm confortable using both tools w/ Virtualbox on my computer, I'll work through integrating them w/ my AWS cloud. I might then even use AWS to work thru RHCSA/RHCE labs. From 1st glance, I should be able to use AWS for everything except for the Virtualization components of the RHCSA. You might be able to do something similar w/ AWS in your Windows Server studies.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
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