Any providers that you can recommend for setting up a test lab for working on Microsoft/Vmware certifications?

hi guys

I'm looking to get some certifications, both in Vmware and Microsoft and possibly Cisco down the line. But of course, like anything, it would be good to have an environment where one can play with the content and setup a lab and try out the features.

I can use a test network at work that is segregated from production, which all sits on Vmware and Cisco switches, but do you guys know of any good providers whom you have used to setup a test lab with? I'm assuming people will say Amazon EC2 servers or even Azure, but any information will be useful.

Who is Participating?
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.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Most of us vExperts have our own Test Labs. (physical, but if budget, electricity costs are limited read on)

2. We use Azure, Google and AWS.

3. We also use Oracle Ravello - CHECKOUT THIS! which can be pure VMware, very handy for bare metal ESXi servers!

4. and VMware Hands-on-labs (which are FREE)

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
YashyAuthor Commented:
Great stuff, thanks Andy.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
The VMware GURU program would be a good thing to get into as well. There's a good portion of NFR lab use software available there.

For Microsoft, there's a freebie credit available to Microsoft Partners that would be helpful for getting started in Azure.
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
Microsoft Access

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.