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Are virtual machines alone adequate for MCITP training? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Folks,

    I now do all my MCITP training in a virtualized environment on a single physical machine, alternately running VMware Workstation or Hyper-V, on Windows Server 2008 R2.

    The host is configured with a Core i5-3450 processor with 16GB RAM and dual 500GB hard drives. This system adequately services all my virtual machines, and serves all my needs. Since I no longer use my two other training computers, I am thinking of discarding them.

    Is there any activity required for MCITP training (SA or EA) that cannot be completed in a virtual environment and requires one or more physical machines? I can't think of any such activity, but I just wanted to check with you guys before I discarded my spare training computers.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Sunday, July 15, 2012 12:43 AM

Answers

  • I do not believe so. I'm taking the MCITP EA certifications currently and have passed two exams using just VM's. I will say some things may be a bit more difficult like setting up a complete stand-alone network and having your DCHP server and DNS server work properly with a router. I've found you just need to turn off DHCP on your router for most of these things to work properly (otherwise your other VM's will get their IP from your router instead of your 2008 DHCP server).


    Sunday, July 15, 2012 2:46 PM
  • Hi James,

    The only case you will need physical machines if you are practicing Hyper-V. Hyper-V requires a physical x64 computer.

    If you want to setup a Hyper-V cluster you will probably want to use 3 physical machines. 2 for each Hyper-V cluster nodes, and a third one for the Domain Controller and iSCSI target roles (and maybe install SCVMM on this machine as well).

    You could set these roles up as a non clustered VM on one of the nodes or even install the roles on one the nodes itself, but this would your setup more complicated and it wouldn't make a realistic scenario.


    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:56 AM

All replies

  • I do not believe so. I'm taking the MCITP EA certifications currently and have passed two exams using just VM's. I will say some things may be a bit more difficult like setting up a complete stand-alone network and having your DCHP server and DNS server work properly with a router. I've found you just need to turn off DHCP on your router for most of these things to work properly (otherwise your other VM's will get their IP from your router instead of your 2008 DHCP server).


    Sunday, July 15, 2012 2:46 PM
  • Thanks, Terahertz PC. I didn't think so either, but I just wanted to be sure. Virtualization has made life so much easier for all of us in so many ways.
    Sunday, July 15, 2012 3:01 PM
  • Hi James,

    The only case you will need physical machines if you are practicing Hyper-V. Hyper-V requires a physical x64 computer.

    If you want to setup a Hyper-V cluster you will probably want to use 3 physical machines. 2 for each Hyper-V cluster nodes, and a third one for the Domain Controller and iSCSI target roles (and maybe install SCVMM on this machine as well).

    You could set these roles up as a non clustered VM on one of the nodes or even install the roles on one the nodes itself, but this would your setup more complicated and it wouldn't make a realistic scenario.


    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:56 AM
  • Hi Arjen,

    Thanks for your response. This is excellent information, and something that I was totally unaware of and therefore never considered. Since we only use Hyper-V in single-server scenarios in our production environments, however, the high-availability of a Hyper-V cluster is not something that I would likely be simulating in our virtual network.

    Furthermore, I am not considering the MCITP virtualization certification, but for those of us taking this certification (MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2), this information should be even more critical since Hyper-V clustering is a part of the syllabus.

    Thanks again for your excellent information.



    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 10:56 AM