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I want to learn windows server 2003

Posted on 2010-09-12
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I want to learn windows server 2003, exchange and active directory from home. Im saying windows 2003 due to cost/money available etc. Does anyone have some ideas on how to do this/what i would need etc.
I have 1yrs experience as IT assistant which was basically desktop/end user support. I have 4 laptops all with XP pro. A colleague of mine suggested making my own wired network at home, purchase sever 2003 or sbs 2003 and go from there.
Please can anyone advise me on this.. greatly appreciated..

dirtycarpet
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Question by:dirtycarpet
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by:santoso-g
ID: 33657144
Fortunately, you do not have to purchase network devices (servers, hubs/switches, cablings) just like the old times to simulate a lab. Now you can use virtualization to get multiple servers in your existing Windows XP Pro (assuming you have at least 1 network card connected to a switch/hub, enough second internal harddisk - 250 GB should be enough, and lots of RAM - 4 GB if you are using Windows XP 32 bit).
Many free virtualization software are available today, such as VMware Server, Microsoft Virtual PC, VirtualBox, etc. The idea is to have multiple virtual servers running within your existing Windows XP Pro. You can set up one virtual server as Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Active Directory, another virtual server as Microsoft Exchange Server, and another virtual  server as Windows XP Pro client. All running together. You can also get benefits of creating snapshots and many other features offered by the virtualization software.
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by:dirtycarpet
ID: 33657198
Hi thanks for the reply.

excellent - so let me get this clear -  i dont have to buy the server or the server 2003 o/s. i just put virtualization software such as VMware server onto a PC  and then create one virtual server running server 2003 - another virtual server running active directory - and another running xp pro client and another running exchange and these will all run together?

also where can i get the software such as Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange Server, will trial 180 day versions do?
also can you pls explain - im not sure what you mean by at least 1 network card connected to a switch/hub.

great so it sounds like this can be achieved from one machine without the need for network devices as you said..
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by:ddiazp
ID: 33658018
To clarify:

Yes,  you can have multiple machines on the same physical computer. To learn Windows Server 2003, this is what I would suggest:

XP Clients - 2 of them (if you already have laptops then great, if not, 2 Virtual Machines wiht Windows XP)
These machines don't need space or a lot of ram, the minimum hardware requirements will be enough as you'll only log on these to verify group policies, scripts, etc (384MB RAM each VM)

Windows Server - 1 of them. This is the one that will have active directory on it (install with the command `dcpromo`). If you want you can even put Exchange on it aswell, so you would only need 1 Virtual Machine with Server 2003 to run everything you need. You can install a second VM to run replication, etc if you wish. (512 MB RAM each VM)

Like I said before, you can run all this on the same physical machine.

Now, regarding costs:

You can use Virtual Box which is free, or VMWare Server which is also free. (VMWare also has VMWare WoOrkstation which needs to be purchased)

Obtaining Server 2003 licenses is simple through the internet, you can use these licenses for 1 month. After that you can re-install the OS or simply find ways to activate it.

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by:ddiazp
ID: 33658024
To make sure: To get a VM with Server 2003 you need the virtualization software, and also the installation discs for the Operating Systems you want to use.
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by:santoso-g
ID: 33659343
The idea of having your network in your Windows XP active (connected to hub/switch or WLAN Access Point) is because your virtual servers will need IP addresses to be configured. I am not sure if the virtual servers can run and have IP addresses while your Windows XP have no network connection (no IP address).
I assume you have Internet connection, so your Windows XP can get IP address from your DSL router or Broadband router via UTP cable or Wireless LAN. So you do not need to buy additional hub/switch.
As for Windows 2003 Server & Exchange Server CD, yes you need to obtain the trial CD or download trial from the Internet.
I understand it will take some time for you to learn this virtualization software. However, with this virtualization, you will open your mind about having many servers or operating systems (you can also install Linux or MS DOS) within one PC/laptop. This is good for you to learn many things with less resources (less money). And the learning time is not so long (2 -3 days to get started). Even you can have VMware/VirtualBox, Virtual PC running in a couple of hours.
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by:dirtycarpet
ID: 33660205
Thanks both for the info - however im confused. can you please explain to me how to set this up.

ive got two laptops both running windows xp pro
ive got one pc with a trial version of windows server 2003
ive got broadband - ive got a router
ive got a netgear 8 port 10/100 desktop switch

is it just a question of plugging everything in through the switch?
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ddiazp earned 250 total points
ID: 33662679
If you've got all the stuff already then forget what I said about VMWare, etc.

But yes, connect all the computers you have at home to your netgear switch (your own PC, 2 laptops and server), give them all IP addresses on the same subnet (use the subnet you already have on your own PC) and the server and the laptops should be able to see each other quiet easily.

The router doesn't need any changing.
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