Lab exercises for aspiring System Admin

KhattabKhattab MemberMember Posts: 97 ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm currently working as a Jnr System Admin for a large company and i desperately want to improve my technical skills.

I was reading one of the current threads where DarbyWeaver mentioned a few points:
If you build a workstation and server at home and that is it... whopee!!! You've installed two boxes you have not impressed me.

You setup your infrastructure services, learn to ghost, image, etc. - You are getting hotter.

You take the time to play with policies inside and out and to the effect you know them - I can almost hire you.

If you take the time to learn rights and permissions, go ahead and setup RAS, RRAS, perhaps a proxy, a web server, with FTP and HTTPS - and be your own certificate authority - I'm really starting to ask myself what can you not do...

Then even with one box, you go throught the inerations of installing and cconfiguring a cluster - you can do 95% on a single box... Talk to me.

Setup a backup solution and take the time to learn your altrernatives - Do each and make it work... Gosh somebody stop that 12-year old... he's a fanatic...

Then you decide you need a WUS or SUS Server and autmated AV installation and updates and you really gotta put the breaks on this fella...

Then the bastard decides he needs Remote Services and installs Terminal Services, but thinks - oh hell why not get the VPN up at the same time...

Really, this is what i am looking for... a set of lab tasks which i can then go about and implement one at a time and keep building on. Perhaps setting up a win2k3 server, set up DHCP and DNS, set up FTP, ISA, Exchange etc but doing them all gradually.... then perhaps setting up a web server, buying a domain name and getting a static IP for the lab etc....

Obviously, once i've got it set up I dont want to stop there - i'd like to make sure it is not just a static set up, i'd like to throw in curve balls.. mix it up a bit so that i can really know my stuff.

Is anything like this available on the net? and if not, can anyone write out a few System Admin tasks which i can get cracking on? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



  • royalroyal New Member Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    To be honest, you should start working on your MCSA/MCSE. This will give you a lot more knowledge you can apply at your current job as well as prove to senior engineers you are working on improving your expertise. As for tutorials, there are many sites which give you lab tutorials. Your best bet is to visit Microsoft's site which has a section on virtual labs. You can find that site here. If you are not ready to begin your MCSA/MCSE track, then there are many live and on-demand webcasts available from Microsoft that will help give you a bit more knowledge on technology without having to go through a book to learn. You can find the webcasts here. Another website of Microsoft's is their technical library which gives a lot of technical information on their products. It is invaluable to have bookmarked for the product you often work on. You can view the technical libraries here

    There are many other non-Microsoft sites out there that will help teach you how to do specific tasks. Here are a few sites I visit often. Most of them pertain to Exchange since I work more with Exchange.

    Hope this helps
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • tech-airmantech-airman Senior Member Member Posts: 953
    To add to royal's advice, earn your CompTIA A+ certificate. Supposedly, there was a time, even to this day perhaps, that an MCSE certified individual who is supposed to be able to perform an "attended installation" of Windows NT Workstation 4.0/Windows 2000 Professional/Windows XP Professional couldn't tell the difference between the CD-ROM drive and a Floppy Disk drive.

    Here's the webpage about the CompTIA A+ certificate.

    1. CompTIA A+(R) Certification -
  • royalroyal New Member Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good advice tech-airman. I would also do the Network+. In fact, I always recommend everyone who is going into any type of systems/networking administration/engineering to obtain both their A+ and Network+. This helps build the foundational knowledge which will assist in your learning for higher level certificates. Also, if you plan on going into security, I also advise you to do Security+.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
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