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Eventual MS cert lab: Hyper-V, Xen, some combo?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to decide on how to set up my VM lab. I'm probably over thinking it since the setup could be change relatively easily with the number of hard drives I have but I'm going to see if anybody has any input anyway.

I have two PCs now set aside for for use as a VM server:
An AMD triple core (possible 4th core unlockable) with 12 gigs of memory and
an i7 with 16 gigs of memory
I can put more specific specs if requested.

On the one one hand I've been on a real Linux kick the past couple months and I'd like to learn Xen. On the other hand I would like to use this to aid in my quest for some kind of Microsoft certification, which I assume hyper-v (2008r2) would be useful for. At least to be in the whole windows mindset anyway.

I am assuming I would probably spend a lot more time on the i7 with it's 8 effective processors and it's 16 gigs of memory so I am trying to decide which one to put on the i7 and which on the AMD.

Unless hyper-v is most effective with two physical machines. I was going to run a couple of VM domain controllers and perhaps some xp/7 clients as required. I could just as easily do that in Xen. Probably take longer to setup.

For experience level I have slightly more than zero experience with Xen (which I would try and pair up with Ubuntu but probably end up using CentOS...less experience with CentOS) and as far as setup goes really zero experience with Hyper-V. Is it only marginally more than setting up virtual hard drives/network interfaces/etc. like I would do in virtualbox or virtualpc? For that other grade of hypervisor I feel like I know entirely too much about virtualbox. It won't be completely alien conceptually in other words.

So to try to summarize this into a specific question I think that would be is Hyper-V really only effective with two physical machines? Would a Xen-based MS cert lab be some how ineffective. Keep in mind I haven't even started studying for said cert yet.
 
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Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3630QM nVidia GeForce GTX 680M 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s 
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Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 10 Pro x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
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HP ZR24w 24'' Samsung SyncMaster 24" logitech wireless k360 Seventeam ST-850ZAF 850W ATX 
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post #2 of 9
@OP

If you're going for Microsoft certification, I think the most logical path would be Hyper-V and Server 2012 but it depends on the cert. If the cert includes Hyper-V, then yes it would be the most logical path. However I don't know if Hyper-V needs two physical boxes; I know tycoonbob runs two in an HA setup.

If not, then you could go down the route of Linux with Xen or Linux with KVM, and run Server 2012 on those.
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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP

If you're going for Microsoft certification, I think the most logical path would be Hyper-V and Server 2012 but it depends on the cert. If the cert includes Hyper-V, then yes it would be the most logical path. However I don't know if Hyper-V needs two physical boxes; I know tycoonbob runs two in an HA setup.

If not, then you could go down the route of Linux with Xen or Linux with KVM, and run Server 2012 on those.

I have not read the original post above, but if you are studying/testing for Microsoft certifications for the Windows Server platform, you will run into Hyper-V questions. If you are testing for Windows Server 2008(R2) or 2012, you might as well install Windows Server on a physical box and use Hyper-V to virtualize. Two servers are not required as long as you have plenty of resources in your Hyper-V box.

Later tonight I will read the first post and see if I have anything to add.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply guys! I was leaning more toward 2008r2 because for one there's that free "hyper-v 2008 server"...i'm not sure there's an equivalent 2012 of the freebie and also I still have all those keys from my MSDN subscripiton for all those versions of 2008/r2/etc. Haven't purchased a new subscription yet. I'm also trying to decide which cert to get. I assume the 2003/xp cert loses more value in the time v. benefit ratio with each passing day but I don't know if I want to jump to 2012 either. May have to invest in certifying in 2008r2 and transition to 2012 when I can. Hopefully prior to 2012r2 or whatever the follow up is rolleyes.gif
 
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Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3630QM nVidia GeForce GTX 680M 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 10 Pro x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
Audio
Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio 
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Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3630QM nVidia GeForce GTX 680M 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 10 Pro x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
Audio
Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 860 Biostar T5 XE Radeon HD 5870 Corsair 16GB  
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post #5 of 9
There is a bare metal 2012 hypervisor that is free. If you're going to try to get your MCSA/MCSE or whatever, definitely work on 2012.
    
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post #6 of 9
@oedipus

Technically, certifying for 2008 R2 might provide more benefit in the short to medium term; there are going to be loads of 2008 R2 installs out there (and 2003 installs too), but not that many 2012 installs. That will change over the next 3-5 years, I'd imagine.
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post #7 of 9
If you can do 2012, you can do 2008/R2. Also, unless there's a specific job requirement for 2008 or 2008 R2 certifications, certifications for the newest software are going to look better.

It wouldn't surprise me if MS doesn't even offer 2008 R2 certs any more.
    
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post #8 of 9
2008R2 certs will be available for several more years, but the MCITP label is going away. Starting in June something, the 70-640, 70-642, and 70-646 exams will give you your MCSA: Server 2008 instead of your MCITP: Server Administrator.

I would recommend starting off with those three exams above and getting your MCSA: Server 2008, then do the upgrade exam to the MCSA: Server 2012, then the two additional exam to get your MCSE: Server Infrastructure. If you are new to IT, I would probably start with the 70-680 and 70-686 (MCSE: Windows 7). So...

MCSA: Windows 7 (70-680, 70-686)
MCSA: Server 2008 (70-640, 70-642, 70-646)
Upgrade to MCSA: Server 2012 (70-417)
MCSE: Server Infrastructure (70-413, 70-414)
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

2008R2 certs will be available for several more years, but the MCITP label is going away. Starting in June something, the 70-640, 70-642, and 70-646 exams will give you your MCSA: Server 2008 instead of your MCITP: Server Administrator.

I would recommend starting off with those three exams above and getting your MCSA: Server 2008, then do the upgrade exam to the MCSA: Server 2012, then the two additional exam to get your MCSE: Server Infrastructure. If you are new to IT, I would probably start with the 70-680 and 70-686 (MCSE: Windows 7). So...

MCSA: Windows 7 (70-680, 70-686)
MCSA: Server 2008 (70-640, 70-642, 70-646)
Upgrade to MCSA: Server 2012 (70-417)
MCSE: Server Infrastructure (70-413, 70-414)

Wow, thanks for the info guys. I will try and follow this track you laid out.

Not really that new to IT technically but it seems like a lot of job posts I see seem to list that as a recommended/preferred or requirement. Of course, I actually have a job at the moment so I'm as much trying to increase my potential value as anything else. I'll most likely take the windows 7 test because...well I haven't yet dissected 7 the way I dissected xp and it looks like there's a lot of fun stuff to learn there smile.gif
 
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Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3630QM nVidia GeForce GTX 680M 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 10 Pro x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
Audio
Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 860 Biostar T5 XE Radeon HD 5870 Corsair 16GB  
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Western Digital hard drive wd1001fals-00e8b0 Maxtor 300GB I don't need no stinking optical drive Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR24w 24'' Samsung SyncMaster 24" logitech wireless k360 Seventeam ST-850ZAF 850W ATX 
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VM Server
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CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3630QM nVidia GeForce GTX 680M 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 10 Pro x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
Audio
Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 860 Biostar T5 XE Radeon HD 5870 Corsair 16GB  
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Western Digital hard drive wd1001fals-00e8b0 Maxtor 300GB I don't need no stinking optical drive Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR24w 24'' Samsung SyncMaster 24" logitech wireless k360 Seventeam ST-850ZAF 850W ATX 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Thermaltake V9 Black Edition Logitech G500 Programmable Gaming Mouse FiiO E7 USB DAC and Portable Headphone Amplifier Sennheiser HD555 Professional Headphones 
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