win server 2008

I have installed a 120 day evaluation of Win Server 2008.  I have some manuals and books on how to do various tasks on the server in preparation for taking some certification exams.  Is there a way I can put this server on the network and setup some things but not screw up anything with our current network and Win Server 2008 R2?  I will need to of course install roles and setup active directory and DHCP and an ip scope.  In doing these things while connected to the network, will it mess up anything or can I practice in a way that will be safe.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Depends on your resources available.  I would setup some VMs and connect them to a separate router.

Why are you studying a 7 year old operating system out of main stream support?  You should be studying 2012 at least.
Mohieb MohammadSolutions ArchitectCommented:
Enable hyperv , then create all the VMs you need and configure their network as private.

You will be able to access the physical server externally and the vms will be accessible internally only
Get a loopback plug from your network folks, this will allow you to activate the network without interfering with existing network setup.

you can practice but under no circumstances activate the DHCP scope.

Puzzling, did you install the OS on a VM or a physical system?
Protecting & Securing Your Critical Data

Considering 93 percent of companies file for bankruptcy within 12 months of a disaster that blocked access to their data for 10 days or more, planning for the worst is just smart business. Learn how Acronis Backup integrates security at every stage

mkramer777Author Commented:
LEE W.  I'm very familiar with Windows Server 2008 R2.  You can still get MCSA for 2008 so I thought I would brush up take the tests and then take the 2012 test that upgrades your cert to 2012 server.  Do you think this is a bad idea?  Do you think that if I study for 2012 with books and resources not having a 2012 server in house I would still understand enough to take the tests?
mkramer777Author Commented:
Do you have steps on enabling HYPER V.  That is something I have not done.  I use VMWARE.
Hyper-v is a role.  The system you are building this on has to have two interfaces. One to use as the a management network and the other network will be for the VM environment.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Then use VMWare - either way - you create a network that is inaccessible by the rest of the network.  Though if you're studying for Windows Certs, you should be learning Hyper-V too.

In my opinion, there are plenty of 2008 R2 servers out there that can make you valuable if you have that cert... but generally, people don't (that I've seen) ask what software edition a cert is in and generally assume if you have it in one level of Windows you have reasonable knowledge of the prior edition and the current and wouldn't necessarily count it for or against you in a hiring decision - at least I wouldn't in most circumstances.  Though having the newer one would potentially encourage people who need to migrate to that newer one to hire you...

I've found technology moves FAST and spending time on older versions is often a waste of time.  That said, I think my background in DOS and Windows 3.1 has provided me a deeper understanding of MS technology today... but that said, I don't think very many people would factor that knowledge into their hiring decision.
mkramer777Author Commented:
What does everyone think about the loopback plug idea?
mkramer777Author Commented:
I installed this on a physical system.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
don't connect this machine to your domain network as you will be asking for problems
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Get a switch that's not connected to your local network.  If you need internet access, get a cheap home class router with a 4 port switch.  Plug the WAN port of the home class router into the network (It will NAT the connection for you so you don't interfere with the rests of the network).
mkramer777Author Commented:
don't connect this machine to your domain network as you will be asking for problems

Is that all that needs to be done?  I will not see any problems or do I need to go with one of the other options like the switch idea?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Depends on what you want to do.  If you think logically, if it's not connected to your network how can it have any interaction or cause any problems?
All the loop back plug does is bring up the network interface which is needed for multiple services to function.
Or you would have to use a switch and wire to get to the same point.

The plug is made of an rj45 and two wires that connect pins 1 and 3 , 2 and 6

If you have a lab network, that is isolated, provided it does not have a smaller scale of the production environment, you can.

DHCP is the only threat to an existing network dealing with possible interference.

All other services are demand based.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2008

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.