Lab Setup Advice for 70-410 Exam

  • Hi, I'm aware that this may have been answered many times, but am just looking for some advice please....

    I've decided to do my MCSA in Server 2012 this year and am looking to start setting up a lab so that I can test and prep for the 70-410 exam (and also so that it can be used for the other 2 exams). I have a Windows 8.1 machine with 8GB RAM and a 500GB Hard Drive. What would you suggest be an ideal setup to have? I'm most likely going to use Client Hyper-V so that I can do some bits at work aswell (it's a work laptop), but I'll have it as dual boot if needed.

    There looks to be so many different opinions on what lab to have set up for the 70-410, that I don't know which is best, hopefully someone here can pin me in the right direction!

    Any help would be appreciated

    Thanks

    Paul 

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  • Hi Paul,

    This might be what you are looking for.

    www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx

    Personally I've used VMware workstation 10 to setup the VMs.

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  • Hi, thanks for the reply, I'll give that a go

    Appreciate your help!

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  • Also, for what its worth.  You could also use https://www.virtualbox.org/ which is free.  Who doesn't love free?  :)

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  • Hi DT,

    I am also at the early stages of preparing towards doing the 70-410 exam and i found the guide to setting up the test lab very handy.

    Thanks for that

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  • Hey Ronnie Markenzie Sakai where did you find the guide for the lab? Let me know if you have time.

    Thanks,

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  • I shared how I setup my labs on my blog post of my journey to MCSE here:

    benofthecloud.wordpress.com/.../dual-mcse-certification-in-90-days

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  • I have used Vmware Workstation 10 and the lab setup from this video www.youtube.com/watch I have taught many classes using this method. I can suggest that you install an SSD drive as fast VM storage and only use it for VM storage. The lab setup worked really well for me and I use a similar setup at work to repro problems.

    NetworkedMinds http://www.networkedminds.com
    Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/networkedminds
    Twitter @NetworkedMinds

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  • Hi all,

    Am about starting the certification journey and at present am lost for words after reading so many testimonials. I am a newbie although i major in computing and would like to equip myself for the future. Could anyone explain to me that which i need to do in order to gain my certifications? The steps to achieving all exams and necessary study materials although I have got CBT nuggets but would really appreciate getting help from people who have achieved their certs. The study links would be much appreciated as i intend to achieve my goals in 90days. Also, as I intend to do a self study, what system requirement would anyone recommend that i start with as i intend to get a laptop that has the following configuration settings:

    5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz), Windows 8.1 Pro (64Bit) English, 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) Truelife LED-Backlit Display, 8GB1 DDR3L at 1600MHz, 1TB 5400 rpm SATA Hard Drive, Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD), Intel® HD Graphics 5500.

    Please advise.... Thanks as i look forward to responses.

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  • Olamide Opayemi, 90 days is a lot of pressure that is 30 days per exam!

    One laptop is a little limiting for Hyper-V and storage technologies in these exam's I prefer to do things practically.

    A laptop is useful and you can do a lot on it especially if you put Server 2012 on it and use it as a Hyper-V host, I have one for work but I found personally purchasing 3 Dell OptiPlex machines to run server 2012 as a Hyper-V clustered frontend and the third as a Storage target for the virtual machines was better, later storage cluster and single frontend. add in nic's or dual nic's but it is whatever your budget does. iSeries processors are most compatible but you can get some core 2 duo's if you look and are lucky.

    Where to start well focus on one exam at a time.

    Start with the WIKI for the exam and learn

    The books that they have at the start of the wiki, get the training guide it is the better of the two if you can only get one.

    Search for the exam's

    www.microsoft.com/.../exam-70-410.aspx

    Search for Microsoft TestLab Guide and pick your topics

    social.technet.microsoft.com/.../1262.test-lab-guides.aspx

    Search for Microsoft Virtual Lab's choose server and sign up for free

    technet.microsoft.com/.../bb467605.aspx

    Search for Microsoft Jump Start

    technet.microsoft.com/.../windows-server-2012-jump-start-01-core-hyper-v.aspx

    Apart from the book these resources are free, use the book well as it has end of chapter summaries and a quiz to test if you are as strong as you think before you think you can skip a topic.

    Good luck

    Steve

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  • Hi Steve,

    Does that mean i have to get more than one system in order to prepare for the exams?

    Please explain better....

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  • Olamide,

     I would strongly recommend not installing 2012 Server as your base operating system unless you dedicate the box or laptop to that purpose. You will find that laptop especially will not have drivers downloadable for Server 2012. Server 2012 is not engineered to be a foreground operating system i.e. applications do not run as fast as background services like file sharing. If you do use Server 2012 as your base OS, you will also need to reload every 180 days because of licensing. See my post above and spend the money on VMware workstation. Virtual box is good, but it does not support VT in VT which you need for installing Hyper-V inside of a virtualized environment. See the video attached to this thread above. Make sure that your machine can support VT-D or AMD-v, you can find it in the BIOS. However if it's an i5 then chances are it supports it. You really only have problems with the i3 Walmart specials.

    Hope this helps,

    Jon

    NetworkedMinds http://www.networkedminds.com
    Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/networkedminds
    Twitter @NetworkedMinds

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  • Hi Jon,

    What do you mean by not using the server 2012 as a base OS.

    Do you mean that I need to have a Windows OS OEM and i can install the server 2012 operating system on a different partition or install the server 2012 OS on a virtualized environment?

    What's your suggestion on the materials that would be needed to help make my self paced learning more easy?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thanks

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  • Olamide,

     I was commenting on the suggestion of wiping a laptop out and installing Windows 2012 as a base or primary operating system. My educated suggestion and the way I run my classes I teach is to have the normal primary operating system of Windows 7 or Windows 8 on your laptop. Then purchase and install VMware Workstation 11 and install the operating system of Windows 2012 R2 as per my video www.youtube.com/watch. The lab environment will exist at that point as files on the primary operating system.

    Jon

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  • Hi Jon,

    Thanks for the quick reply. Could you provide me with links to materials to help me get started with Windows Server 2012 70-410, 411, 412 etc.

    Thanks for your help so far and also, have you got tutorials on youtube that is benefiting for the listed certifications?

    Thanks again in advance...

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