How have people tackled setting up the virtual labs on their own machines or in hosted environments?
I have strong doubts that my own machine (8.1 Pro, 8GB, i7 4500U, PCIe SSD) will be able to handle running the necessary VMs at once. I have looked into buying used servers but it seems such a waste just for running something for a few days/weeks. Would there be anything stopping me from running Evaluation versions in hosted environments (provided that virtualisation and the adequate network setup are possible)?
How have you guys done it?
I use a 16Gb RAM, i7, 512Gb SSD for my labs and it is holding just fine. The virtual machines I use to run my test based on small databases run on 2gb to 4gb and I use 2 to 4 of them one being the DC with 512mb after installation was completed.
I also use dynamic memory since this is just for tests.
I am not sure, though, about which VMs you're using and their requirements.
On hosted environments, Azure is an option. There are VM templates there for SQL Server (not SQL Azure).