Lab setup for MCSA\MCSE 2016

ssnyderu2ssnyderu2 Member Posts: 475 ■■■□□□□□□□
How many VM's would one need to run to properly lab for the 70-740/741/742/ and the 70-744? I have a 12 core 24 thread server with 64GB RAM to use, so I can run plenty of VM's.  Also, would it be best to run Hyper-V Server or ESXi? Leaning toward Hyper-V for the extra experience.  
2019 Goals: 70-698, CCENT, MCSA 2016
Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, CIW Foundations and MTA OS Fundamentals
Cisco Lab :3x Cisco 2811 Routers, 3x Cisco 3750 Switches and Cisco 2620 Router with NM-32A module
Windows Lab: Dual CPU Hyper-V server with 12 Cores/24 Threads, 96GB RAM and 2TB HDD.
CANCER SURVIVOR! In Remission Since September 2016!

Comments

  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandMember Posts: 424 ■■■■□□□□□□
    ssnyderu2 said:
    How many VM's would one need to run to properly lab for the 70-740/741/742/ and the 70-744? I have a 12 core 24 thread server with 64GB RAM to use, so I can run plenty of VM's.  Also, would it be best to run Hyper-V Server or ESXi? Leaning toward Hyper-V for the extra experience.  

    Use Hyper-V because when you get asked questions about Hyper-V or virtualization in Windows on the exams.  They will be easier to answer because you built your labs on it and know the options.

    I was running no more than 5 VM's at a time when I was studying.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • PseudonymPseudonym A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I Member Posts: 341 ■■■■□□□□□□
    ssnyderu2 said:
    How many VM's would one need to run to properly lab for the 70-740/741/742/ and the 70-744? I have a 12 core 24 thread server with 64GB RAM to use, so I can run plenty of VM's.  Also, would it be best to run Hyper-V Server or ESXi? Leaning toward Hyper-V for the extra experience.  

    Use Hyper-V because when you get asked questions about Hyper-V or virtualization in Windows on the exams.  They will be easier to answer because you built your labs on it and know the options.

    I was running no more than 5 VM's at a time when I was studying.

    This is good advice.

    If you run server 2016 as your host box as well, it's an extra machine without the overhead of another VM. Shouldn't really matter in your situation though. That server is more than enough.
    Certifications - A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I, RHCSA
    Working on - RHCE
  • ssnyderu2ssnyderu2 Member Posts: 475 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks @malachi1612 You said you run no more that 5 at a time. Did you have more than 5 installed?  Also, what were the VMs that you used? Domain Controller, DHCP server, File server ect. Im working on the 70-698 right now, so wont study for 70-740 until March 1st, but wanted to get the infrastructure in place. :)
    2019 Goals: 70-698, CCENT, MCSA 2016
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, CIW Foundations and MTA OS Fundamentals
    Cisco Lab :3x Cisco 2811 Routers, 3x Cisco 3750 Switches and Cisco 2620 Router with NM-32A module
    Windows Lab: Dual CPU Hyper-V server with 12 Cores/24 Threads, 96GB RAM and 2TB HDD.
    CANCER SURVIVOR! In Remission Since September 2016!
  • PseudonymPseudonym A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I Member Posts: 341 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited January 2019
    ssnyderu2 said:
    Thanks @malachi1612 You said you run no more that 5 at a time. Did you have more than 5 installed?  Also, what were the VMs that you used? Domain Controller, DHCP server, File server ect. Im working on the 70-698 right now, so wont study for 70-740 until March 1st, but wanted to get the infrastructure in place. :)

     A lot of the server roles can go on the same VM. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a reason why the DHCP server role & the file server role can't go on the same VM. Your study materials will tell you what can go together and what can't. Most of the time the domain controller shouldn't have much else installed on it, due to other processes & services interfering with its operation.
    Certifications - A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I, RHCSA
    Working on - RHCE
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandMember Posts: 424 ■■■■□□□□□□
    ssnyderu2 said:
    Thanks @malachi1612 You said you run no more that 5 at a time. Did you have more than 5 installed?  Also, what were the VMs that you used? Domain Controller, DHCP server, File server ect. Im working on the 70-698 right now, so wont study for 70-740 until March 1st, but wanted to get the infrastructure in place. :)
    Not running at the same time.  2 or 3 client VM's running Windows 10.  VM each for Domain Controller and DHCP, they can be installed on the same VM but I was doing a few extra things so I wanted to kept them separate.  And a VM for IPAM which you have to do install on separate VM.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek 70-410, 70-411 Member Posts: 341 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'd plan on at the max 6 to 8 at some point. I haven't done any of the 2016 content so I'm going off my 2012 labs. There will be sometimes when you may need multiple forests to deal with trusts and resources/DNS in each forest that will need to be accessed. If you are only using one forest, use two domain controllers so you can do FSMO transfers, authoritative restores and similar things.

    Again, this is from my 2012 R2 experience. You want to run as many as you can. Also look into using differencing disks for your VMs. You can save yourself a lot of disk space on your VM host and it is quick and easy to tear things down and rebuild.

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited January 2019
    I choose to install Hyper-V on one of my servers just to give me that extra level of experience. I have not had any problems with it yet.

    The 3 machines I alway leave running are a windows 10 management machine, DC with DNS, and DHCP. I am currently working on 70-742 and I have added a windows 10 client machine recently so I could test the effects of my group policy on a second machine.

    After that I found it easier to use a clean VM for each topic I was learning. There is no reason you can't add 4-5 features on a single server but if you run into issues you might not be sure which setting is causing them over time.
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