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Buy a new pc for home lab with windows svr 2008 R2 and virtualization

Discussion in 'Windows Server 2003 / 2008 / 2012 Exams' started by fs, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. fs

    fs Bit Poster

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    It's time to buy a new pc. My dell gx270 (p4 3ghz 1g ram 32 bit) is quite old.
    Actually the main reason is that I'd like to experiment the free trial 180 days windows server 2008 R2 (only 64 bit!) at home. By the way the sys admins of the company I am working for, have accepted my requests to show me something about windows server (during my free time) and they will show me something about it...(I did something in the old days with windows nt server). As long as I understand in order to have a lab at home and play with virtualization I need 64 bit processor and a lot of ram.

    1) Would you suggest me to buy an hp proliant microserver with more ram (8gb) or should I build my own pc? which specs? Budget 500£

    2) Which free (or free trial) virtualization software would you suggest me that plays well on the new pc? The objective here is to learn windows server 2008 R2 and therefore I'd prefer not to get stuck with virtualization and hardware issues. I believe I would need at least a windows server with maybe 3 windows 7 clients.

    3) Would you suggest me to install the windows server on the new pc (host) and run from there the clients with virtual machine or should I prefer a server virtualization platform (such as xenserver) and run everything from there?

    Ps I've played so far with virtualbox,qemu,vmware player, microsoft virtual pc...
    Maybe after 12-18 months of experience I might try to study for the new MCSA 2008...maybe...

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    Regards
    Fs
     
    Certifications: HNC
    WIP: COMPTIA A+ CCNA
  2. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    Hi

    I have got an HP Microserver which I am running 2X Server 2008R2 using VMWare, it can get a bit slow but ideal for test bed and I still think it comes with £100 cash back.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CCNA
  3. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    I got a couple of ML110 G6(Xeon) and would recommend them :)
     
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
    fs likes this.
  4. fs

    fs Bit Poster

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    Thanks Toasty for the reply...That was quick.
    1) Have you added more ram?
    2) Are you running VMware Server 2 or VMware player on your host? which OS do you have on the host? Is the host part of your lab?

    Thanks
    fs
     
    Certifications: HNC
    WIP: COMPTIA A+ CCNA
  5. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    Yes I have added 8Gb Ram and running ESXi4
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CCNA
    fs likes this.
  6. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Wow Firstly I must congratulate you on making a gx270 last that long, two or three years ago I was replacing faulty caps on those models like there was no tomorrow.
    As the others have said You could get the microserver which is a great little box for low end virtual duties but it does max out at 8GB so when you start playing with running vm's more that 2-3 2k8 vm's will start to strain the box a bit.

    TBH you could pick up a desktop pc from ebuyer or similar and make sure that it has enough ram capacity 16GB or 32GB for example and then if you need too buy an SSD to house your vm's if disk IO becomes a problem but it shouldn't do if you only want to use it to study the MCITP track.
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
    fs likes this.
  7. fs

    fs Bit Poster

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    Ok thanks a lot for your valuable answers. I'll take them into account.
    Have a good day you all.

    Regards
    Fs
     
    Certifications: HNC
    WIP: COMPTIA A+ CCNA

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