windows server training

I have an old Windows Server 2008 R2 that I want to use for training for certifications.  I was wondering what I would need to setup a mini network here in the office.  I have the server of course and a few laptops.  What kind of switch would I need to get the whole thing talking?  After that would I be able to setup things like AD, DHCP, GROUP POLICY, and have the laptops receive the info from the server?
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CESNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Switch - any switch will do for this type of training ( a cheap NetGear will be just fine).  To get your feet wet with managed switches, I recommend a Cisco Catalyst 2960

AD, GPO, etc, are all roles that can be installed on the server.  Just promote it to a Domain controller and add the necessary roles/features and away you go.

The laptops need to be the Professional version of Windows (not Home version) in order to join the domain that you create

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SeanSystem EngineerCommented:
Just a dumb 5 port switch will work just fine for what you want to do in a lab. A flat network is usually easiest to learn on. The only thing a switch with management can offer to teach is how vlans can affect the traffic but that's usually a network issue not a server issue and isn't covered on Microsoft tests from what i recall.

After that you can do AD/DHCP/GPO/WSUS/etc etc etc. You may want more than one server to really get deep into it but it's a start.
mkramer777Author Commented:
Forgot 1 thing.  What about internet.  I know you don't setup a 2nd DHCP server on a network for obvious reasons, but what about plugging into our network for internet?  Does that make things go nuts?
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yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
There are a few things and I am assuming that this is going to be the standard roles from what you stated in your question.

You can do this all in a box (Virtualize all the moving parts) and you do not need a switch.
You can download all the servers software from MS to try for 180 days  and rearm it 3 times  (truly giving you 540 days of use before you need to blow it away and start over.  (Rearm: open CMD as an admin and run slmgr /rearm)
Here you can download what you need to start.  
Now if you are looking for networking you will need something in the area of CISCO or some other manage switch to play with those configurations.  This would be a whole other area to focus on and I would stay clear of mixing the two together.
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:

You probably should have given people a bit more time to give a possible solution.

You opened the question only a few mins ago and with in 4 mins you closed the ticket.  :(
CESNetwork AdministratorCommented:
As far as internet, you can install another router but just be VERY careful about the ports you plug into.  Get another router and plug its Internet/WAN side into your current network (so it gets DHCP from your main network), then plug your shiny new switch into one of the LAN side ports.  This way you will avoid conflicts.  Also, disable DHCP on the LAN side so that your server can manage this
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Windows Server 2008

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