It’s important to keep your skills sharp. Sometimes this means you want to do some work outside of the office. You may even have a home lab setup. But without breaking the bank, what are some ways that you can exercise those skills and learn some of the latest enterprise technology? We’ll share some experiences and suggest some options based on our personal experience.
Running Time: 43:03
IT Pro News:
Gmail turns 10, changing how the web works
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Windows 8.1 update makes the OS more desktop-friendly
IT Pro Main Topic: Using A Home Lab to Keep Your Skills Sharp
Getting started: decide how to separate your home “production” assets from your lab
All virtual, a DMZ and some extra routers
Virtualization. What do you want to test?
Type 2 hypervisors run on top of an OS. This is like VMware Fusion or Parallels for Mac. VirtualBox from Oracle, VMware Workstation. Great for testing the next version of Windows Server, Windows Client, linux, etc.
Type 1 hypervisor (Hyper-V, Citrix XEN Server or ESXi) is going to require some hardware.
Check vendor compatibility lists to see what type of system board and components will work. Lots of helpful docs out there showing you sample “white box” servers. Many cost <$500.
Get an account. ESXi is free. Other apps cost $$ but provide free trials (60 day trial for vCenter, for example)
MSDN and Azure
local installations from MSDN on physical or virtual hardware. Functionality more important than performance.
difficulty in setting up a full environment made Small Business Server more attractive (WSUS, etc.)
NAS and business-grade connectivity
What if you want to learn about shared storage? Who can afford a home SAN? What can you do?
Some home NAS (like Synology) systems provide business features. Virtualization support, iSCSI, AWS replication, thin provisioning, LUN cloning and other advanced features (VAAI, ODX)
IT Pro Bookshelf:
A MSDN Channel 9 Intro to Azure
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