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Lab Environment

Question

aclarke_31    1

Hey guys,

 

I hope everyone's well.

 

As some of you may know I've been experimenting with virtualization recently and setup a full Windows Server 2008 Standard R2 Domain with an Exchange virtual server, WSUS Virtual Server, Microsoft Streaming Services Virtual Server and a few other services to name a few. I've been trying to find out what other services I can run on my LAN and could do with some guidance from the community as to what they may be running in their own lab environment?

 

I built an ESXi Host Server which holds all the server services from above in it, but am now wondering, whats the next best move?

 

Do I look at upgrading it to Windows Server 2016 / 2019? Should I wait until Microsoft releases the next patch for this or should I look at running some hardware on the LAN to try and save costs at home on phone bills, etc, by running an analogue to VOIP server.

 

Just wanna know what sorta thing people are using their lab environments for and what the best idea would be?

 

Thanks for everyone's input :)

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Barney T.    2,335

Moved to Network subforum for better coverage.

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+BudMan    3,546
3 hours ago, aclarke_31 said:

full Windows Server 2008 Standard

Only has a couple of months left before EOL, prob not best choice for a lab ;)

 

What you run in your "lab" should be stuff your interested in learning and playing with - its a lab, and yours.. What I am interested might have no interest for you, etc.  What you have installed so far has little interest to me for example.

 

As to what you "can" run - that is only going to be limited by what software you can get your hands on, etc.. Or what is available for trial, etc.. And possible physical limitations - for example you might not be able to lab about with wifi if you have no wifi equipment, kind of hard to learn about vlans if no switches that do vlans, etc.

 

What are your most interested in?  The setup of services on VM, where running VM and configuration of VM hypervisor is more of the goal - or is VM just a means to get the Software/OS your interested in playing with up and running.

 

Your playing with ESXI currently... There is a lot to learn there for sure.. But there are also many other hypervisors to play with that do things differently there is type 1 and type 2.. And then all the different software that falls under both of those types.

 

 

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aclarke_31    1

Thanks for the input Budman.

 

Appreciate that it's my lab and my decision, but still leaves me at a bit of a "What's next" scenario.

 

I think I've got the web front end covered quite well, but the command line I only dip in to when I need to perform updates to ESXi host. Ie update from U2 to U3 which I managed to do with no problems.

 

What I'm now looking at is vmotioning from a physical ESXi host to a virtualized ESXi host. Or maybe physical to physical. The virtualized route seems to be a really helpful solution to keep downtime to a minimum. Especially for live active services. Exchange ETC but I'm still curious to know what other people are learning to try and keep my knowledge fresh and in the field.

 

Thanks for your input Budman. Always appreciate your sound advice :-)

 

Thanks again everyone else that input.

 

 

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+BudMan    3,546
On 10/30/2019 at 8:48 AM, aclarke_31 said:

what other people are learning to try and keep my knowledge fresh and in the field.

Best way to do this is forums - what are people asking questions about.  Do you know how to do that, do you know how to explain it to someone that doesn't know the basics.. If you can not explain it to someone that doesn't know it, then do you even really know it yourself ;)

 

Even if you don't or can't help with a specific question - it could peak your interest in learning/playing with that yourself..

 

I run into that sort of thing all the time.. Well that can't be that freaking hard, why are they having a problem with that - let me fire that up and take a look..

 

Even when you know how to do X, and someone asks about X - the act of explaining how X works, or showing them how X works can bring you insight into X that you might not have been aware of, or reinforce your understanding of X, etc.  Or maybe you are not exactly sure about X.. But wanting to help that person gets you learning more about X so you can help them, etc.

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+fusi0n    2,069
On 10/30/2019 at 8:48 AM, aclarke_31 said:

I'm still curious to know what other people are learning to try and keep my knowledge fresh and in the field.

 

 

Automation. Automation. Automation. 

If this was filmed today, that is what he would be chanting instead,

 

 

Learn how to deploy servers using Terraform (works great with ESXi) and learn how to use Ansible. I patch all my servers in my home lab (32 VMs) using ansible and it takes less than an hour and I don't have do to anything besides run the playbook. Learn Cloud infrastructure..  AWS or Azure are great.. If you're running AD on prem, leverage Azure to setup a hybrid Domain.

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