Your Lab setup

I am currently trying to get back into cert mode. Got married > wife is pregnant. Life’s been busy :D

I have been having difficulty trying to figure out which route to take. I am looking at going for the MCSE: Exchange route to start with, But my old has been dismantled to make room for the baby. So space is becoming an issue. I am wondering what kind of labs you guys have setup, that don’t take up alot of room. Pic's would be great.

I did a search before posting this, and I couldn’t find anything. So I apologize in advance if this has been posted before, and I just missed it.
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Comments

  • dtlokeedtlokee Member Posts: 2,381
    For the MS stuff, a killer PC with 4 gigs of ram and VMWare, you can virtualize 6-8 servers with that and have all the fun you want.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • CorySCoryS Member Posts: 208
    I must agree, I currently have 2 DC's on my really crappy machine (2800+ 1 gb ram etc..) and those two run fine for all of the labbing I want on AD stuff. I have a bigger box that I use for my Exchange setup but in the near future upgrading to a better processor probably the 6000+ for price->performance benefit and 4 gb of ram so I can setup virtual clusters and the like, if you are planning on labbing with ISA make sure and have 2 NICs available though, otherwise just get a beefed up right and throw on VMWare as this is a lifesaver...

    As a side note to its ability. At work I setup our test lab with 3 servers that had been retired (over 4 years old) and setup Netware and a WinXP client on one, a dc on the other and another Netware + WinXP client on the other box, all on the same virtual network and have run into no odd problems that would lead me to doubt its ability to function as one would expect.
    MCSE tests left: 294, 297 |
  • seuss_ssuesseuss_ssues Member Posts: 629
    dtlokee wrote:
    For the MS stuff, a killer PC with 4 gigs of ram and VMWare, you can virtualize 6-8 servers with that and have all the fun you want.


    This is one of the best setups. Especially if space is an issue.
  • Darthn3ssDarthn3ss Member Posts: 1,096
    can you get a free version of vmware? i couldn't find anything on the vmware website..

    unless you guys are just talking about downloading it.. lol

    MS Virtual server works fine too.
    Fantastic. The project manager is inspired.

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  • snadamsnadam Member Posts: 2,234 ■■■■□□□□□□
    let me know how that works out. Im in a similar situation as you (married, wife moved in, no room) My 2 room place does not allow me to have a physical lab anywhere. Anybody have a general idea of the cost of a good VM capable PC?

    My guess is $600
    **** ARE FOR CHUMPS! Don't be a chump! Validate your material with certguard.com search engine

    :study: Current 2015 Goals: JNCIP-SEC JNCIS-ENT CCNA-Security
  • IT_AdminIT_Admin Member Posts: 158
    Thanx for the quick replies


    I only have a P4 2.8GHz, w/ 2gb memory & 160HD. Which for now will have to do. I d/l the eval version of vmware workstation from the vmware site, I just finished installing it. It's only a 30 day eval. I would like to in the near future upgrade this machine, but for now it should suffice. *hopefully*
    Next victim: 70-351

    On my way to MCSE 2K3: Security
  • druid318druid318 Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Virtual PC works well. Its free also :)

    I think that pc would run it , just not as many virtual pcs open at once. I do alot of labs on my PC and it only has 512 ram in it. I can get it to run 2 virtual pcs at a time. They are kinda slow but it works.

    Dual monitors is a big help if you have enough space. You can open the virtual pc in one and read material on the other. Works well enough for me anyway.
  • CorySCoryS Member Posts: 208
    In our benchmarks we found that Virtual PC was quite a bit slower in regards to guest machines running and the web interface was not fluid enough.

    Download VMServer version 1.0.3, its free, and customizable, plus its got a nice interface to work with.

    You could probably build a very decent machine minus video card and monitor for about 6-700 no problem, I priced one out on newegg.

    6000+
    2GB Ram, ($110 plus 40 dollar rebate think it was patriot too so it was good)
    Foxconn nvidia 590 chipset (includes dual gigabit nics)
    case (cooler master)
    power supply (rosewill 550 watt 4 12v rails)

    This was about 550, plus that didnt include some of the rebates they threw in (80 dollar one on the MB)
    MCSE tests left: 294, 297 |
  • Darthn3ssDarthn3ss Member Posts: 1,096
    my PC is good enough, i just need to get another 2GB of ram (to make 4)
    Fantastic. The project manager is inspired.

    In Progress: 70-640, 70-685
  • GregDGregD Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Darthn3ss wrote:
    my PC is good enough, i just need to get another 2GB of ram (to make 4)
    Make sure you're running a 64bit OS so you can actually get that extra 2GB addressed and usable. I once sat there for an hour trying to figure out why exactly all of my RAM wasn't showing up, before realizing I had installed the OS as 32bit for some reason icon_redface.gif

    But virtualization is fun. Vmware for regular servers, dynamips/dynagen for Cisco routers, and so on. Really cuts down the cost on hardware.
    CCNA - Complete
    CCNP - BCMSN, ONT Complete.

    Up Next - ISCW, BSCI
  • Darthn3ssDarthn3ss Member Posts: 1,096
    yeah i don't have a 64bit processor so i'm not going to bother with buying 64bit windows. i know xp on 32bit won't support the full 4gigs but i'll still add it.

    what sucks though is that my motherboard supports 8gigs.
    Fantastic. The project manager is inspired.

    In Progress: 70-640, 70-685
  • snadamsnadam Member Posts: 2,234 ■■■■□□□□□□
    actually I tried to set my lab up today. Turns out that I was missing a few parts. I was literally sharing CD-ROM/floppy drives between 3 PC's icon_redface.gif . |But I decided to swap parts back and fourth until I got the OS's installed.
    The BIOS for one of my 'servers' was not ACPI complaint and kept getting BSOD during install. So instead of bypassing ACPI config (which I ended up doing anyway, no dice), I decided to flash the BIOS to something more current than 9/10/2000. Well as it turns out, the floppy disk controller on the MOBO was also bad, so I cant boot to floppy to complete the flash. About 4 hours of frustration later, I decided that its not worth the hassle and 86'd it out of my lab. While visiting a local Best Buy on a whim, I saw an open box AMD 64x2 PC with 1GB RAM and 320GB hard drive. To boot, it was fully built and functional (as opposed to my other lab PC's). Price tag said $249, and I felt it was a damn good deal. Next thing you know, I have a VM-capable (I hope) PC for under $300!!! If the RAM is not sufficient enough, I can always make the jump to 2GB for relatively cheap. I literally got 'two birds with one stone', and I used less than half my budget :D

    I can now use the remaining lab PC's as workstations or even another server.
    **** ARE FOR CHUMPS! Don't be a chump! Validate your material with certguard.com search engine

    :study: Current 2015 Goals: JNCIP-SEC JNCIS-ENT CCNA-Security
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,011 ■■■■□□□□□□
    work will send me to MCSE course in April & I'm thinking of buying a new PC to be used for virtual labs.

    My current PC is 3.2 GHZ with 1.5 GB of Ram & 2 120 GB HDD it is almost 3 years old.

    the PCs I'm thinking about are:

    1:
    Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (2.4 GHz)
    Intel 975X Express chipset mainboard
    320 GB 7200 RPM HDD
    2 GB TWIN2X DDR2-800 RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640 MB PCI-Ex

    2:
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 6000+ (3.0 GHz)
    NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP Chipset Mainboard
    320 GB 7200 RPM HDD
    2 GB DDR2-667 RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640 MB PCI-Ex

    I'm not a fan of AMD but the AMD is 150$ cheaper than the intel

    which one should I get ?
  • hettyhetty Member Posts: 394
    The AMD might be cheaper but the Intel will kick the AMDs ass.
  • GregDGregD Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    wd40 wrote:
    I'm not a fan of AMD but the AMD is 150$ cheaper than the intel

    which one should I get ?
    The performance difference will far outweigh the increased cost. I'd go with the Intel
    CCNA - Complete
    CCNP - BCMSN, ONT Complete.

    Up Next - ISCW, BSCI
  • IT_AdminIT_Admin Member Posts: 158
    This is what I would do. I would go with AMD, take th $150 you saved and double up on your memory. Take it to 4 gigs. That would give you the biggest bang for your buck, IMHO
    Next victim: 70-351

    On my way to MCSE 2K3: Security
  • taktsoitaktsoi Member Posts: 224
    My lab consists of the followings:

    DC:
    Processor: Intel Pentium III 733 Dual
    RAM: 3GB PC133 ECC Reg
    HDD: 3 x SCSI Ultra 320 10000rpm running on RAID 5 Controller
    HDD: 2 x 320GB, 200GB, 250GB, 500GB all Ultra ATA 100
    CD-ROM, Floppy, 2 Intel PRO/100+ Server NICS running nic-teaming
    Motherboard: Intel Pentium III Server Board

    Exchange Server:
    Processor: Intel Pentium III 1Ghz
    RAM: 512MB PC133
    HDD: 80GB SATA
    CD-ROM, Floppy
    Motherboard: Intel Pentium III Desktop Board
    Low Profile Case

    ISA Server:
    Processor: Intel Pentium III 933mhz
    RAM: 512MB PC133
    HDD: 80GB SATA
    CD-ROM, Floppy
    Low Profile Intel Pro/100+ NIC x 2
    Motherboard: Intel Pentium III Deskop Board
    Low Profile Case

    WSUS:
    Processor: Intel Pentium III 800mhz
    RAM: 512MB PC133
    HDD:160GB SATA
    CD-ROM, Floppy
    Motherbaord: Intel Pentium III Desktop Board
    Low Profile Case

    2 x Dell Powerconnect 3024 Layer 2 switch
    1 Linksys router
    1 Dlink transparent firewall
    1 Linksys Access Point

    These are my toys for my lab. Although my toys are out-dated but they are still extremely powerful and rock-solid. PLUS this saves ALOT on my electricity bill. I am trying to get a couple of 1U servers from ebay soon.
    mean people SUCK !!! BACK OFF !!!
    The Next Stop is, MCSE 2003 and CCNA.
    Bachelors of Technology in 1 More Year.

    -Working on CCENT. Thank you my love <3
  • IT_AdminIT_Admin Member Posts: 158
    WOW icon_eek.gif
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  • Darthn3ssDarthn3ss Member Posts: 1,096
    nice.
    Fantastic. The project manager is inspired.

    In Progress: 70-640, 70-685
  • mgeorgemgeorge Member Posts: 777
    IBM xSeries servers are really cheep on ebay.

    You can get a dual 1ghz p3 2gb ram off ebay for less then 200 bucks, the only bad thing about these servers is that you need a C2T break out cable. Once you have one though its a great investment...

    Look for ibm x330's and x335's :)
    There is no place like 127.0.0.1
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