Setting Up a Home Lab

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Rob23

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Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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I am currently in the process of obtaining my Net+, CCNA, MCSA 2003, and Linux+ certs in the time frame of 1 year and it is very important to me to get a lab setup so I can do more "hands-on" work to supplement my book knowledge. I was wondering if any of you wouldn't mind giving me your opinion on how I should implement my lab so that I can get the most hands-on experience possible. The wonderful thing, is that I have plenty of hardware and software to work with.........I just need some input on how to implement it.

Internet = Broadband Cable
I have purchased a domain

Software:
I subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack which gives me:

Servers:
- Windows 2003 Server Web Edition & Standard Edition (1 license each, 10 client licenses each)
- Windows ISA Server 2004 (1 license)
- Windows Exchange Server 2003 Standard (1 license)
- OEM Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard (1 license)
- Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition (1 license, 10 client licenses)
- SQL Server 2000 (1 license, 10 client licenses)

Other Software:
- Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 (10 licenses)
- OEM Windows XP Pro (1 license)
- OEM Office Pro 2003 (1 license)
- OEM Windows Media Center Edition (1 license)
- Windows XP Pro (10 licenses)
- Windows XP Home (10 licenses)
- Office Pro 2003 (10 licenses)
- Office Outlook w/ Contact Mgr (10 licenses)


My Hardware:
Router = Linksys WRT54G (802.11G with VPN pass-through) 4-port (acts as a firewall)
Router2 = U.S. Robotics 8054 (802.11G) 4-port
Hub = Netgear DS104NA (4-port) 10baseT / 100baseTX
4-port KVM switch (supports PS2)
Cat5 = tons of it
Plenty of NICs and 3-4 wireless adapters as well

Desktop 1:
60 GB Hard Drive
1 GB PC133 SDRAM (can support up to 2.5GB)
Runs @ 1.2 GHz
DVD ROM & floppy

Desktop 2:
200 GB Hard Drive
1 GB PC2100 DDR RAM (ram maxed out)
Runs @ 1.2 Ghz
Sony DVD Burner (burns all formats, supports dual layer) & floppy

HP Laptop 1: (I use this machine the most)
80 GB Hard Drive
512 MB RAM (runs @ 533Mhz) (can support up to 1 GB)
Runs @ 3.2 Ghz
DVD Burner

Compaq Presario Laptop 2:
8 GB Hard Drive
150 MB RAM
Runs @ 400Mhz
CDROM, floppy


The way I was thinking of implementing my lab, is to setup several Servers on the 2 desktops using Virtual PC 2004 and then setup several clients on my HP laptop (also using Virtual PC 2004).

I'm afraid I just don't know what servers I will need to use besides Windows Server 2003. Am I limited to only using some servers because I receive 1 dynamic IP from my ISP? Don't I need more static IPs if I want to run outside services like email and web? I know I can setup static IPs inside my "invalid" network (behind the router), but won't I need to setup static IPs on the outside for everything to work? Or can I just port forward everything through my router?
If I am to do this, will I need to setup a demilitarized zone with 2 routers (firewalls)?


I am trying to conceptualize how this network will go together without having any experience working with any of these servers. I have had a lot of experience working with peer-to-peer networks and port forwarding, however this is my first crack at distributed computing. If you guys could point me in the right direction or even just give me your opinion on how you think I should set this lab up, I'd really appreciate it.

Rob
 
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