What are good lab set up or test labs to pracice on 70-640, 70-642, and 70-643.

Diggydan757Diggydan757 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
I am trying to set up a test lab or practice lab for these exams knowing that I want to take all of them. I was wondering what is a good lab configuration to be able to learn all the task for all these exams? Even if you just have one lab set up to just one exam I would definitely appreciate anything just trying to find a starting point as to setting up my lab using Virtual Machines and Windows 2008 Server or 2008 Server R2 Enterprise. I will be using VM's to carry out the lab. Also if you mention your lab mention your memory and HDD space per set up or VM so I know what requirement I would need for my computer to carrry out the full practice lab. I just want to have a good practice lab to pass these exams and be able to be sufficient on my computer. I was tring to self teach and would love some advice to where to start as far as a good foundation of a test lab for these or any one of these exams?

Comments

  • KrunchiKrunchi Posts: 237Member
    I use two setups.

    HP Laptop
    1. CPU i5
    2. 16 Gigs of Ram
    3. Dedicated 500 Gig HD
    4. VM ware Workstation
    5. MSDN Account
    6. Defrage after every lab season.
    Desktop
    1. CPU i5
    2. 16 Gigs of Ram
    3. Dedicated 500 Gig HD
    4. Hyper-V
    5. MSDN Account
    6. Defrag after every lab season.
    7. VHD Dual Boot into W2K8 R2 RDP Role I use laptop to RDP into server to lab.
    I use the two different setups to lab I use Vmware and Hyper-V because for some of the labs Hyper-V is required you could do all this on one machine I just find it more convenient for my studies.

    I also recommend get to know how to use Snapshots, Clones and Sysprep makes life easy.

    With that I find the must haves to be a i5 or equivalent CPU, 16 Gigs of Ram just seems to be the sweet spot and a Dedicated HD that you keep defraged everything else is just for convenience.
    Certifications: A+,Net+,MCTS-620,640,642,643,659,MCITP-622,623,646,647,MCSE-246
  • Diggydan757Diggydan757 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    What services and and roles do you have on your server as well as applications running? Do you have exchange, sql, or sharepoint or any big applications that you are using for your lab?
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Those are both good setups. I use the following:
    X6 1090T 3.4GHz
    Win7 with VirtualBox
    16GB RAM
    250GB SSD for main drive (lots of programs and such and host OS)
    120GB SSD for VMs

    I agree, a Core i5, Core 2 Quad, or Phenom X6 would be the minimums. I'd say 8GB RAM is enough, but 16GB is much nicer. Dedicated storage for your VMs is also a must. The SSD is a luxury, but really nice for some of the larger labs you might want to do, like a full-blown RDS setup, Sharepoint, and even WDS. SQL and Exchange aren't needed or even pertinent to those exams, outside of the SQL Express server you'll use for SharePoint, but you don't need to actually touch the SQL side.

    If you want to do a Hyper-V lab, you'll really want two hosts and shared storage. That can get expensive, but if you look around for deals it can be reasonable. If you go the route of using a hypervisor instead of putting VirtualBox, Player, Workstation, etc. on your PC, consider buying a used server. In terms of the hardware you get, the prices are very comparable to parting it out yourself, and the experience is ultimately going to be better. Dell and HP servers can usually be had on eBay for some great prices. For example, a cheap two node cluster could be two of these:
    DELL POWEREDGE 1950 QUAD CORE XEON L5320 2 x 1.86Ghz 8GB 2 x 73GB 10K SAS RAILS | eBay
    Or, get a little bit more horsepower and storage from these:
    HP PROLIANT DL360 G5 QUAD CORE E5345 2 x 2.33Ghz 16GB 4 x 73GB SAS 10K W/RAILS | eBay

    I'm finding some of the G5 Proliants on eBay very tempting, and the 10K SAS drives make for a reasonable in-between compared to a consumer-grade SATA drive and consumer-grade SSD.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • Diggydan757Diggydan757 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    What I should have asked was what services or roles should I need for these 3 exams or even the enterprise exams? Like Active Directory, DNS, DHCP and so on?
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    You'll need pretty much all of the built-in roles and many of their roles services, as well as Windows Media Services, which is free but a separate download. You'll probably end up with at least five VMs, maybe more like 10 or 15, depending on how you do things. They don't have to all run concurrently, but there are numerous different setups you'll probably want to lab.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • Diggydan757Diggydan757 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ok so saying that is 8GB-16GB enough ram for this practice lab for these three exams. Also what is the best way of going about this. You said 4 - 15 Vm's. Hopefully can you only do it with 4 VM's or do you really need all 15. What is the best way of going about this I dont have the book yet but getting the press books soon. Also I have 2 computers but one is really probably more reasonable with the other.

    HP dv6
    Win 7 Home Premium soon to upgrade to Professional
    CPU i5
    16gb of Ram
    Virtualbox installed
    700GB of HDD Space

    2nd Computer
    Intel Celeron D 3.33ghz
    4 GB
    Window XP Professional SP3
    100GB Harddrive
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Again, you don't need 15 concurrent VMs, but think about all the different things you might lab:
    DHCP
    AD DS & DNS
    AD LDS
    AD RMS
    AD FS
    NPS
    RDSH
    RDCB
    RDGW
    RDWA
    AD CS
    HyperV, CSVs, and VM clustering
    Service/application clustering
    SharePoint
    WMS
    IIS
    WSUS
    DFS
    WDS

    Again, you can (and should) add multiple roles in some cases, but not always. You can always toss or wipe and reload old VMs as you go, and again, you'll probably never run more than three or four concurrently (maybe more during a good RDS lab, but that's it). I didn't lab almost anything for 642 and 640, and I still have 10 VMs sitting in VirtualBox. I've kept most of my VMs in case I want to go back and re-lab.

    Your DV6 there should do nicely, but you'll really want to add another HDD. I'm not saying a single drive is impossible to work with, but running more than two VMs concurrently gets painful, with boot-up in particular being very painful. The SSD in my system was very nice when I did my full blown RDS lab (RDSH x 2 + RDWA + RDBC + DC + AD CS all together - six VMs).

    You might consider using the Celeron system as a SAN. It just needs a NIC and some storage and you can do SAN labs. There are a few freeware solutions out there. I would really think about doing that as the utility of a SAN is great, and you'll really appreciate it when you get to 70-643. I will be forthcoming in admitting I did not do a full SAN lab, but I have lots of real-world experience designing and implementing SANs, and didn't feel it necessary. Unless you find yourself getting work experience with SANs in the next 6-12 months, you'll want to set that up at some point.

    I think the MS Press books come with licenses you can use. Otherwise, get a Technet subscription to gain access to free testing licenses for every MS product.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • rudergerruderger Posts: 19Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I did labs for 640, 642 and 646 on my Win 7 (Home Permium, why are you updgrading to Pro?) desktop, AMD X4, 8 GB RAM. I used Virtual Box.
    I just had all the roles on 1 server VM and also had a Win7 desktop VM, I started from stratch a few times.
    I used the MS Press books and they usually went through installing the roles so I just installed the roles as needed.
    I downloaded Windows Server 2008 R2 from here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/2008-r2-trial.aspx the trial lasts 180 days, Windows 7 trial here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/cc442495.aspx lasts 90 days (you can reinstall or put up with it shutting down every 2 hours)
  • wweboywweboy Posts: 287Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Where do you find good labs or scenarios? or do you just make them up and do as needed?
  • TheCudderTheCudder Posts: 147Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    wweboy wrote: »
    Where do you find good labs or scenarios? or do you just make them up and do as needed?

    Purchase the Microsoft Press Books for Server 2008 R2. I purchased the 3 book training kit on Amazon for under $100. The books takes you step by step through labs. MCITP Windows Server® 2008 Server Administrator: Training Kit 3-Pack (2nd Edition): Exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-646

    Edit: Amazon link, Amazon.com: MCITP Windows Server 2008 Server Administrator: Training Kit 3-Pack: Exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-646 (9780735663282): Dan Holme, Nelson Ruest, Danielle Ruest, Tony Northrup, J.C. Mackin, Ian McLean Dr, Orin Thomas, Jason Kellington: Books
    B.S. Information Technology Management | CompTIA A+ | CompTIA Security+ | Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance (In Progress)
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    The MS Press books are definitely the way to go, and they have plenty of labs.

    That said, in many cases I just fired up servers and configured them for fake scenarios I had in my head. An unguided lab can really be a great way to learn. Also, there are Technet articles on configuring certain features that also lend well to labbing.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
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