Lab Setup Recommendations

Xapt3r2ooXXapt3r2ooX Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am currently studying for the 70-680 exam. I attempted to lab with Intel Core 2 Duo and 4gb of ram, but Server 2k8 is going way to slow. I am thinking about building a new PC, but do not want to spend over 600 dollars.

What are your recommendations on what hardware my pc should have in order to lab for all the tests in the Enterprise Admin.

Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    What's your host OS? Is it 7? 7 needs about a gig of RAM, that leaves you with about 3 GB. How much RAM have you allocated to the 2008 OS? How have you set your lab up?
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • spd3432spd3432 Member Posts: 224
    How many hard drives are you using? If you're only using one your slowdown may be disk related since your running OS and your virtual machines are all on a single spindle and the heads are probably working overtime. If you can, push your machine to 8gb (or more) RAM and pick up a cheap USB external (300gb +) drive (better get two). Split the VMs between the internal drive and the external drive.

    Technet has a test lab guide for setting up direct access. It has you running 6 machines at once to get everything working.
    · One computer running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition named DC1 that is configured as an intranet domain controller, Domain Name System (DNS) server, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, and an enterprise root certification authority (CA).
    · One intranet member server running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition named APP1 that is configured as a general application server and network location server.
    · One intranet member server running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition named EDGE1 that is configured as the DirectAccess server.
    · One standalone server running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition named INET1 that is configured as an Internet DNS server, DHCP server, and web server.
    · One standalone client computer running Windows 7 Ultimate Edition named NAT1 that is configured as a network address translator (NAT) device using Internet Connection Sharing.
    · One roaming member client computer running Windows 7 Ultimate Edition named CLIENT1 that is configured as a DirectAccess client.

    Search Technet for "Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate DirectAccess"
    ----CCNP goal----
    Route [ ] Studying
    Switch [ ] Next
    Tshoot [ ] Eventually
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Agreed on the RAM, 8GB is enough for running quite a few VMs. For the disk I would recommend either internal SATA or external eSATA drives over USB. Having extra disks (even USB) will help a lot, though.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    You can actually buy a dedicated server as well. I picked up a poweredge 1950 with 2 dual core Xeons and 8 GB of RAM and a pair of 500 GB SATA drives for around 550 bucks. Sure I don't have the redundant power supply or faceplate but who cares. It does sound like a small plane taking off when you power it up, but you get used to it after a while.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Member Posts: 1,819
    you can also cut out alot of processing overhead by using a linux host and running the vms there
    wgu undergrad: done ... woot!!
    WGU MS IT Management: done ... double woot :cheers:
  • TackleTackle Member Posts: 534
    Look into a dell power edge T110 with a Quad core Xeon. You can get them for less than 400$ but you will need an extra drive (comes with 1 from dell) and maybe up the ram a bit. Should be around $500 all said and done. And after you done with the lab if you want to use it as a PC, it'll have no problem handling it.

    Just food for thought, I bought one of these Kill-a-Watt testers, this server with esxi uses less than 100 watts with 4 VM's running off 2 hard drives...seems pretty good compared to my laptop that is 30 watts just sitting there and 55 watts while charging.
  • ericcumbeeericcumbee Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    i built my own box for labbing

    its a core i5-2400
    3 500gb WD Blue 7200rpm hard drives SATA
    (1 boot drive, and 2 in raid-0 for my vms)
    16gb of ram

    came out to be about 650 dollars.
    Georgia Southern University Class of 2008
    BS of Information Technology- Network Admin
    A+, Security+
  • Xapt3r2ooXXapt3r2ooX Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for all your post and recommendations. I decided to buy new parts on newegg and sign up with billmelater. My shipment comes on Tuesday, so I will let all of you know when it is built. I know the video card was unnecessary, but it doesn't hurt to play some games after i pass my next MS exam :D Please let me know what you think about my build. I have taken your advice and purchased a new HDD. I will be using my old internal sata for my VM, and my friend is going to give me an older one. I will set them up in RAID 0.



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  • spd3432spd3432 Member Posts: 224
    The only thing I would have cautioned you on before ordering was verifying the BIOS for that motherboard actually allow you to enable Intel VT-x. Not all motherboard manufacturers supply BIOS that will let you use that feature even though its built into the CPU.
    ----CCNP goal----
    Route [ ] Studying
    Switch [ ] Next
    Tshoot [ ] Eventually
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have three machines with Gigabyte boards and all of them have the option to enable virtualization extensions. You're right that it is a good idea to download and check the manual. I went ahead and checked the GA-P67X-UD3-B3 manual and it does support virtualization extensions (the "Virtualization Technology" option under Miscellaneous Settings... default is Enabled).
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    spd3432 wrote: »
    The only thing I would have cautioned you on before ordering was verifying the BIOS for that motherboard actually allow you to enable Intel VT-x. Not all motherboard manufacturers supply BIOS that will let you use that feature even though its built into the CPU.

    I learned this the hard way once icon_sad.gif
  • Xapt3r2ooXXapt3r2ooX Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    @Asif Haha I will try not too :D I am really looking forward to play some Shogun.

    @Spd You are right. I completely forgot to verify if my motherboard supported Intel VTx :\

    @Mentholmoose: Thanks moose for verifying that for me. How have the gigabytes mobos been treating you? This is the first time i will be using one. One of the main reasons i purchased it was for Mac OSX. I will be multibooting Linux, Win7, OSX. I prefer Linux but my girlfriend loves Mac lol
  • Xapt3r2ooXXapt3r2ooX Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Repo Man wrote: »
    I learned this the hard way once icon_sad.gif

    Were you able to return your motherboard?
  • higherhohigherho Member Posts: 882
    Hi all,

    not to high jack this thread but I figured I could ask this question in here and not create a similar topic.

    I have an HP Elite Workstation laptop (Windows 7 Enterprise, 64 bit) with 8 gig of ram, 250 gig HDD (the D partition has my VM baseline on it which is server 2008R2), IE7 740 1.73 GHZ Cpu with 6 megs of L3 cache.

    I am just looking for some lab sim's that I can setup and test out. Any recommendations? AS of right now I do not have the funds to get any books until the 15th of next month. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Xapt3r2ooXXapt3r2ooX Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Give me your email address. I have labs a member from these forums sent me. The MOAC used lab manual is 7 bucks on amazon as well
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    higherho wrote: »
    Hi all,

    not to high jack this thread but I figured I could ask this question in here and not create a similar topic.

    I have an HP Elite Workstation laptop (Windows 7 Enterprise, 64 bit) with 8 gig of ram, 250 gig HDD (the D partition has my VM baseline on it which is server 2008R2), IE7 740 1.73 GHZ Cpu with 6 megs of L3 cache.

    I am just looking for some lab sim's that I can setup and test out. Any recommendations? AS of right now I do not have the funds to get any books until the 15th of next month. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Here you go, this link has 25 free virtual labs that you can do over and over again. Hope it helps!

    TechNet Virtual Labs: Windows Server 2008

    Here's another thread from a while back that might help.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/mcts-mcitp-windows-2008-general/64181-server-simulations.html
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
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