Do you have a "home lab setup"? (Biology, Chem, Physics, CS/IT Related Courses)

Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Member Posts: 89 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello Everyone,

There's several courses I'll be taking that will require a Lab Component. I was wondering how you all set that up?
For example, the science courses have a 1 credit lab (which is optional for some degrees), where do you get your lab equipment?

For the Comp Sci/IT Related Majors - How do you have your home lab rigged up?
That's basically what I am trying to do, is to create a home lab so I can get started with IT Certs/Courses.

I've been reading other forums and getting an idea how it's done but wondering what your basic rig is like.
Thanks, Bjcheung77


  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GRID, GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIA, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
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  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,179 ■■■■■■■■□□
    My home security lab is just a PC (HP w/ A10 and lots of RAM) with VirtualBox and the usual security tools (Kali Linux, Wireshark, Metasploit, etc.). I'm in the beginning stages of learning penetration testing, so this setup suits me just fine.
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    My Lab setup is VMware Workstation Pro that has 1 Server2012 VM running Hyper-V. (I RDP into this from anywhere with NO lag)
    In this Hyper-V VM, I run 5-6 VM's at once (DC's, clients) without much overhead.

    Make sure you know a way to remote into your home lab. I suggest you sign up for a free Dynamic DNS service. This way you just RDP to the FQDN (example: The ddns client will update with your dynamic ISP given IP address. Then on your router, port forward TCP 3389 to your Hyper-V VM's local IP. The packet will go straight to your lab and initiate the session.

    real easy stuff. I have 24gb of RAM and it is lovely. I was about to shell out cash on a loud ass server. Glad I didnt.

    I believe the above can only be done in VMware products. It's called a Nested Hypervisor. Usually you cannot run a hypervisor in a VM.
    2019 Goals
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  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    My case I have a NUC i5 running ESXi 5.5.
    It runs about 7 vms on it for labbing purposes.

    For Networking wise I run VMWare Workstation with the GNS3 VM on it on my home laptop and just back my configs up.
  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Member Posts: 89 ■■■□□□□□□□
    That's awesome, I'm going to set up something like the following. I have two rooms (although a bit small).
    One room will be the Natural Sciences room where I'll have a section for Bio, another for Chem, and a section for Physics.
    The other room with be my "work" room and where I'll have my "home lab" for CS/IT Courses and Certification training.

    For those of you who have a home computer lab, small or large, how is yours setup? I have a 24 inch and two 19" monitors, 3 desktops and 3 laptops. Each sharing the wireless network connection to the internet, I have a local printer (not networked). I switch laptops with the 24" monitor to have a dual screen setup and each of the desktops I dual screen by cable/switch.

    My question for the home computer lab, what's the best option to learn more on the several CS/IT certifications out there?
    Those 3 desktops are on Win10, the 3 laptops are running Win 10 except for one, it's on Win7 Home Premium. I want to setup something like RDP or VNC into the desktops from my laptops. For the desktops, i'm thinking of having server software and virtual servers running on them for practice. I don't have any Cisco Hardware, so skipping training that for now.

    Essentially, I want to start with the basics and move up to the harder ones, I believe in this order, CompTIA, Microsoft, InfoSec, and CISCO Certifications. I may skip the CIW and MTA certifications as these topics should be covered already or overlapped with the newer/harder certifications.
  • olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Unified Networking Lab

    I prefer this over GNS3. Supports pretty much everything
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    olaHalo wrote: »
    Unified Networking Lab

    I prefer this over GNS3. Supports pretty much everything

    Note - I need to bug you. I've had a pita time with this thing
  • ExpectExpect Member Posts: 252 ■■■■□□□□□□
    not really, I just use laptop (12GB RAM) for local VM mainly for pentesting and other python projects. I don't feel like being a sysadmin at home, and take care of another infrastructure :)
  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Member Posts: 89 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My Windows 10 Machines only have 8gb, I don't think I need more ram to make use of a local VM build, but would like all 3 PC running smooth and all 3 have a Pentium G3258 overclocked to 4.5ghz, running smoothly as is... Everything is built in or onboard, so it's not going to be used for gaming or anything else but learning or torrents.

    The laptops are my general system use computers for pleasure use and for work, I occasionally surf the web with hem, but generally use my iPad Mini for quick use web browsing. I want to know, what should I do to share that printer? I just bought another HP printer AIO and want to set that up to be shared as well. I might want to setup one of the PC as a HTPC as well for watching movies.
  • olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    kohr-ah wrote: »
    Note - I need to bug you. I've had a pita time with this thing
    The initial setup is definitely not as simple as I think it should be, but the documentation is pretty good.

    My higher level coworkers all use it to emulate complex customer networks and they got me hooked on it.
    The ability to have Checkpoint, Juniper, Palo Alto, and Cisco Firewalls all emulated and working together with real configs and images is very valuable imo and worth the initial setup headaches.
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