A few questions about studying for MCSA

CarnbyCarnby Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
I just earned my CCNA and now I am considering getting a MCSA. I'm a bit lost on where to even start.

I assume I should got for Windows Server 2012. The latest version is the best version to know, and what you learn could be applicable to 2010 R2 and 2003... right? With that said, Is there a book you can recommend?

Also, when I studied for CCNA I used Packet Tracer for labs. I do not have the money to set up a home lab, so is there a virtual equivalent of Packet Tracer that I can use to study for MCSA?

I appreciate any advice you have to offer. Thanks!


  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
    There's no 2010 R2 but I'm sure you know that icon_smile.gif

    You can use VirtualBox to create a full lab. There are tons of blogs out there post showing how to use it. Add Windows 2012 trial licenses and it's virtually zero cost. What are the specs of your current computer?
  • CarnbyCarnby Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
    OS Win 7
    System Type x64
    Processor Intel(R) Core i5-2430M CPU @ 2.40 GHz, 2401 Mhz, 2 Cores, 4 Logical Processors
    Installed Physical Memory RAM 6 GB
    Total Physical Memory 5.92 GB
    Available Physical Memory 3.78 GB
    Total Virtual Memory 11.8 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 5.92
  • nachodbanachodba Member Posts: 201 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You would have to use something like Virtualbox (Free) or VMware Workstation (not free) for virtualization. Also, your current computer would be OK if you were able to bump up the RAM to 8 GB.

    Here was my environment (On a Gateway laptop with 4core CPU and 8 GB Ram)
    1x Server 2012 Domain Controller + DNS + DHCP Roles + Certificate Services (1 VCPU, 2 GB Ram)
    1x Server 2012 Member Server (1 VCPU, 2 GB Ram)

    That left me with ~4 GB reserved for my OS, which I installed the Server Admin Tools on.

    You can allocate about 2 GB per VM and that will be slow, but it will be fine for studying. Another option would be to find some older (2007 era) machines with at least 2 GB of ram and install Server 2012 on them, and use them for your test lab. I was able to snag some machines from a local computer repair shop at a fairly cheap price. Also check Craigslist, just be sure to be safe with it.
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  • Rkdrummer20Rkdrummer20 Registered Users Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    VMware is power hungry and will be slow on 2GB ram - you will be safe to add at-least 1 GB more. You should consider desktop over to laptop for faster response.
    These days the most expensive part of computer is RAM...
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