Network background, wants to learn server

rembot00rembot00 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

Just want to get some advise here.. My experience are purely network related, but now i want to add new skillsets so that I can widen my options. I'm looking at the possibility of learning and administering Windows server. (Specially there are a lot of SME companies that require IT guys to know both worlds)

Question.. Besides reading some Windows cert books, downloading virtual box to be able to play with some samples from the book, what other labs/ handson exercises that i can try my hands with? Since i don't have real-world job experience doing server administration, I'm looking at "getting some experience without getting the experience". To learn stuff that a common Win Admin should know, and to be able to land even an entry level role.

Thanks for any inputs.


  • poolmanjimpoolmanjim MCSE, MCSA: 2016, MCSA: 2012 KC, KS, USAMember Posts: 285 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Build the lab from the ground up and try to secure the lab some. I personally try to follow the NIST / DoD guidelines and configure as much as I can. This will teach you a lot of the different ins and outs of how a domain/computer system is to be setup while giving you some understanding of how to secure it. In that process, if a term or a technology confuses you, research it until you have a rough understand of what it is, at least.

    Build a domain with at least two domain controllers (or three with one being in a different site). Configure user accounts and groups and figure out how to add users into groups and make sure and pay attention to the RBAC group precedence guidelines (AGUDLP) for AD groups. Include DNS in this and play with adding and removing DNS records.

    Build a WSUS server and figure out how to automate patching in your lab.

    Build a couple of clients. Lock out their passwords, figure out how to unlock them and reset them, then figure out how you would delegate this to an non-administrator.

    Build a couple of client workstations. Join them to the domain. Break things on them and figure out how to fix them. See how Group Policy applies.

    Lastly, once you have some of the basics down, dig around some help desk sites or IT support sites and see some of the common issues they post for Windows. See if you can figure out or at least guess as to what the problem would be.
    2019 Goals: Security+
    2020 Goals: 70-744, Azure
    Completed: MCSA 2012 (01/2016), MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (07/2017), MCSA 2017 (09/2017)
    Future Goals: CISSP, CCENT
  • rembot00rembot00 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    @poolmanjim thank you for that detailed insight. It seems to be like a hiring manager will ask me "can you do this? Can you do that?" And this stuff is exactly what i needed to learn to cover the basics, so i can gain confidence in interviews. I will go thru all these and will try to learn them.
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