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First Certification - Home Lab

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by greenstarthree, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. greenstarthree

    greenstarthree Nibble Poster

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    Hi All,

    This is my first "topical" post as I literally just posted in the new members forum, so hello!

    I just got my 2nd Edition training kit 3 pack for the MCSA Windows Server 2008 (my first Cert, exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-646) and started reading about the home lab recommendations. I like the idea of using virtualisation as much as possible, but would appreciate any pointers here? Is it best that I have a physical server at home on which to run Hyper-V, or could I do this within, say, a Windows 8 Pro PC with a decent spec?

    Also I was just reading about the retirement of TechNet and wondered what the options were for someone with such bad timing as me?! Am I stuck with using the 180 day trial versions and rebuilding when necessary?!

    Thanks everyone.
    Adam
     
    Certifications: MCSA 70-640, MCSA 70-642
    WIP: MCSA 70-646, MCSA 70-417
  2. GSteer

    GSteer Megabyte Poster

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    Hey Adam,

    You're doing the same program I am at the moment. Luckily I already had my lab setup and my works Technet sub was renewed, don't know what I'll be doing with it once that expires though so I'm in the same boat long term.

    Currently the only options I'm aware off are the trials for free.

    You could create a couple of VM's to a basic level, power them off and copy the virtual disks to long term storage, and when you need to refresh at least you'd have saved some time by just copying the older disks back in.

    I personally use the Hyper-V role in my home Windows 8 box, it's got 16GB of RAM which is plenty for playing, and the virtual disks are sitting on a cheaper SSD for speed (it helps a lot)

    Welcome to CF :)
     
    Certifications: BSc. (Comp. Sci.), MBCS, MCP [70-290], Specialist [74-324], Security+, Network+, A+, Tea Lord: Beverage Brewmaster | Courses: LFS101x Introduction to Linux (edX)
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching
  3. greenstarthree

    greenstarthree Nibble Poster

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    Hi mate,

    Yeah that's not a bad idea, presumably you could spin up the VM's and maybe install a few basic updates/roles etc but not activate, then make a copy of the VD's?
    Then when the key expires drag in the old disks and register with a new key? Then at least you're saving the install time.

    I've read about MSDN as well which seems to give you the full range of downloads without time restriction on its lowest cost bracket, but its still £500 a year or so. Ouch.

    In any case I'll need to be going shopping! I'll probably be looking at a laptop as I'm out and about a bit, and might also get the odd chance to look at things at work. How much disk space did you give each of your VMs? The Press Book gives RAM recommendations but not storage?

    Cheers!
    Adam
     
    Certifications: MCSA 70-640, MCSA 70-642
    WIP: MCSA 70-646, MCSA 70-417
  4. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    someone told me to not do this cert without any working experience...
     
    Certifications: MTA Windows Fundamentals, ITIL Foundation, Mac Integration Basics 10.12
  5. greenstarthree

    greenstarthree Nibble Poster

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    Hi Juelz,

    Looking through the books I can see why! But I do have a bit of experience with AD, Group Policy etc from my job, but that's with a system that was already set up, so hopefully between that and the home lab I'm hoping to create I'll gain enough hands on experience along the way.

    I'm hoping to pick up something like a HP Elitebook with a Core i7 and 16GB RAM, (or at least 8GB and double up when the time calls for it).
    HP comes to mind as we have a specialist supplier at work but would anyone recommend any particular brands for this sort of work?

    Cheers
    Adam
     
    Certifications: MCSA 70-640, MCSA 70-642
    WIP: MCSA 70-646, MCSA 70-417
  6. greenstarthree

    greenstarthree Nibble Poster

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    Gsteer -

    I wonder if you could offer any suggestions as to the best network configuration for doing the study for 70-640 using Hyper-V?

    I've started a thread about it here:

    http://www.certforums.com/forums/virtual-computing/49532-hyper-v-network-configuration.html

    I noticed you said you're using the Hyper-V role in Windows 8, which is exactly how I'm planning to run my test lab, but I've not a lot of experience with Hyper-V yet.


    Were you able to set up your servers in the 10.0.0.11 - 10.0.0.20 range and maintain internet access via your physical NIC?

    Thanks!
    Adam
     
    Certifications: MCSA 70-640, MCSA 70-642
    WIP: MCSA 70-646, MCSA 70-417

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