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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default need to build a lab

    looking to build a system strictly for running a virtual network to train for the mcitp. also wanting to do the exchange admin test.

    i am wondering would a quad core with 6gb of ram be enough to get started?

    any suggestions please.

    thank
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  3. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #2
    You'd get by with kind of RAM for the MCITP: EA/SA tests, but for the Exchange 2010 tests I'd chuck in some more RAM. How much RAM can your mobo take? Max it out if you have some spare cash.
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  4. Learn it, Do it, Know it! Asif Dasl's Avatar
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    #3
    I would agree with Essendon. Go with 8Gb or 16Gb if you can. 2 or 3 hard drives for each VM. SSDs or Samsung 500Gb drives depending on what you've got to spend.
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  5. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #4
    Also make sure you can run Hyper-V with your processor
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by whotime View Post
    looking to build a system strictly for running a virtual network to train for the mcitp. also wanting to do the exchange admin test.

    i am wondering would a quad core with 6gb of ram be enough to get started?

    any suggestions please.

    thank
    All the suggestions for building or buying a workstation/server apply here:

    A multi-core processor (at least core 2 duo)

    At least 4GB. But that is minimum. Many motherboards support 16GB or more now.

    To run 64 bit guests and Hyper-V, you would need 64 bit processor supporting virtualization extensions VT-X, AMD-V. Without those you won't be able to run, any 64-bit guests on VMWare though you can run 32-bit guests. Remember Server 2008 R2 is 64-bit only.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    i can run virtual box for shure as i run it now.

    so you say give each virtual machine its own HD? or give it a piece of the HD?

    the system i am looking at will have 1tb in it should i get a couple 500gb to put in it?
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  8. Learn it, Do it, Know it! Asif Dasl's Avatar
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    #7
    Absolutely run each VM on its own hard drive. They are so cheap it's a no brainer performance wise to get an extra hard drive soley to run a VM on it. It's better to get smaller drives as they are single plater and therefore have faster access and transfer times. 500Gb is a sweet spot between size, speed and cost. Don't forget Exchange is disk intensive too, I wouldn't dream of running 2 Exchange VMs on a single hard drive. I wish I could put SSDs in to my box but for now I'll have to stick with standard drives.
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  9. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #8
    If you're studying for the MCITP:EA you may as well use Hyper-V for VMs. I used to use VMWare Workstation but way prefer Hyper-V now.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    where can one get hyper-v
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  11. The eternal student
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by whotime View Post
    where can one get hyper-v
    Hyper-V is a Server Role.
    Server Manager / Add Roles / Hyper-V.
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by hackmer View Post
    Hyper-V is a Server Role.
    Server Manager / Add Roles / Hyper-V.
    Not exclusively. You can get a standalone version too

    Microsoft Hyper-V Server: How to Get It
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  13. Member
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    #12
    Hyper-V is also standalone product. You can download it from here: Download details: Microsoft® Hyper-V? Server 2008 R2
    Best thing - it's free.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by hackmer View Post
    Hyper-V is a Server Role.
    Server Manager / Add Roles / Hyper-V.
    Or as a standalone server product.
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  15. Junior Member thpaulo's Avatar
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    #14
    I'm study for MS 70-642 in the road to MCITP EA, i'll buy a new PC in few days:
    I7 2600, 16GB Memory, SSD 60GB vertex 2...,

    For performance for each VM machine it's better to buy 2 Harddrives (Samsung F3) with 500GB or 1 hard drive with 1TB (Samsung F3) per less 30 €?
    Last edited by thpaulo; 03-17-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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  16. um yea i know some stuffs demonfurbie's Avatar
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    #15
    my vm lab build consists of

    1 multicore proc with high fsb not much oh the speed its self do so i went with amd they always seam to have high bus speeds and that really matters more than ghz in the vm world

    4 gig of ram but going to upgrade to 8 gig when i have the cash

    1 low ish size ssd for the main os/vm to install on
    1 500gig 7200 rpm drive
    slightly upgraded vid card (personal pref i guess but i have a thing about onboard video)
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  17. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #16
    I skipped the SSD because I'm cheap. I built a server with an i5 processor and now have 16 MB RAM. I went with a small 7200 RPM for OS and a larger HDD for Applications I may want and for general storage. I adde 3 small 7200 RPM HDDs for the VMs and havent experienced a bottleneck or slowdown yet.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by thpaulo View Post
    I'm study for MS 70-642 in the road to MCITP EA, i'll buy a new PC in few days:
    I7 2600, 16GB Memory, SSD 60GB vertex 2...,

    For performance for each VM machine it's better to buy 2 Harddrives (Samsung F3) with 500GB or 1 hard drive with 1TB (Samsung F3) per less 30 €?
    thpaulo,

    As was stated above, the best idea is to have multiple physical hard drives so each VM can be run on it's own disk. From a real world aspect, you may determine it to be out of your financial means at this time to commit to the multiple smaller drives. Keep in mind, if you only have the single hard drive, you're running your OS and any user apps (Office / Quicken / Warcraft / etc) on the same media as your lab setup. Any extra stress caused by forcing the drive heads to move back and forth between VMs may end up in reduced lifetime on the drive with resultant loss of data.

    sean
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Povilas View Post
    Hyper-V is also standalone product. You can download it from here: Download details: Microsoft® Hyper-V? Server 2008 R2
    Best thing - it's free.
    Wow. Haven't seen the words Microsoft and free in the same post for a long time.

    Cheers
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  20. Junior Member
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    #19
    Im going with a sandy bridge i5 3.1ghz quad
    2x4 ddr3 1333 ram i can add another 8gb
    3 500 gb wd cav blue 7200rpm hard drives going to run them in either raid 0 or 5
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  21. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ericcumbee View Post
    Im going with a sandy bridge i5 3.1ghz quad
    2x4 ddr3 1333 ram i can add another 8gb
    3 500 gb wd cav blue 7200rpm hard drives going to run them in either raid 0 or 5
    I hope Intel have sorted this out with the Sandy Bridge > Intel admits $700 million hit for sandy bridge chipset problems- The Inquirer
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  22. Junior Member
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    #21
    yeah mine is a b3 stepping board
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  23. Senior Member
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    #22
    Just make sure you have throughput on your data IO if you're going to be running a lot of VMs. If you want to go cheap, I would suggest four(4) normal 7200 RPM drives in RAID0. Blah blah, raid 0 is dangerous. It's just a lab, back it up if you care.

    I use 4xVraps in RAID0 with a quad-core xeon and 16gb ram. Lab host is Server 2008 Datacenter w/hyper-v. (This box doesn't technically belong to me, it belongs to my employer but I spec'd it out and use it for job related labs and deployment tasks)

    Along with fast drives and hyper-v, I would suggest making ISOs of all of the Operating System and software installation discs required by any labs you'll be doing and mounting the ISOs to install them. Things will be a lot faster and less "clunky".

    Just my 2c
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  24. Senior Member djfunz's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by certhelp View Post
    To run 64 bit guests and Hyper-V, you would need 64 bit processor supporting virtualization extensions VT-X, AMD-V. Without those you won't be able to run, any 64-bit guests on VMWare though you can run 32-bit guests. Remember Server 2008 R2 is 64-bit only.
    Can any modern Processor support those virtualization extensions?

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 for example?
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  25. The eternal student
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    #24
    You can check your hardware with:
    AMD-V Hyper-V Compatibility Check Utility
    Technical Download Details
    You can see something like this:

    And make sure that "No eXecute Bit" feature is disabled (for AMD processors)

    Last edited by hackmer; 03-31-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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  26. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by djfunz View Post
    Can any modern Processor support those virtualization extensions?

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 for example?
    All Phenom and Athlon II support AMD-V, as does pretty much every AMD CPU from the last 5 years. The latest Intel Core i3/i5/i7 all support Intel VT, but for anything older (e.g. Core 2) you should verify on their website before making a purchase.
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