Free or Low Cost Virtual Servers for Training Lab RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just purchased a book on System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).  The author recommends building a virtual lab environment to do the labs and get some hands on experience.  The lab would have two Windows 2012 R2 servers, one running ADDS and the other running Configuration Manager 2012 R2, plus one client machine running Windows 10 Enterprise.  His recommended specs for the physical host are:

    • 10 GB RAM (Preferrably more)
    • 300 GB free disk space
    • 64-bit OS
    • Internet access required

    I am told that Microsoft offers a free service where you can spin up virtual machines and set up this kind of lab, but I have not been able to find any information on it.  I have found a few options for a pretty low cost that fit the first three requirements, but I don't think they offer Internet access, and the author specifically mentioned that is required.

    Can anyone point me to a service, from Microsoft or elsewhere, where I can set up such a lab either free or for a small fee?

    Thanks for any help that you can offer!


    Tuesday, February 20, 2018 11:36 PM

All replies

  • Check out Microsoft Virtual Academy


    SCCM will be under Desktop and Device Management.

    I learned a ton at http://itpro.tv.  The SCCM (2012 R2) training includes access to live labs and Transcender practice tests if you're looking to certify.  Not free of course but not too expensive at around $40 a month.

    Have fun.

    Another Tom


    Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:39 AM
  • Thanks for the reply.

    I knew about the Microsoft Virtual Academy, but had not hear about ITPro.tv, so thanks for that link.  I will check them out.

    What I really need is a place to set up the virtual environment. A couple of possibilities that I have found are:

    I have not had time to dig into the offerings from each of those organizations, so I am not certain they will do what I need, but I *think* that they will.  YellowCircle.net in particular looks interesting.  They are a non-profit supported by some IT industry heavyweights.  They are the only ones that I could see advertise, "Build your own routers, networks, servers, and applications."  The others might have that ability too, but if so, it is not as clearly stated on the respective home pages.


    • Edited by thomasm516 Friday, February 23, 2018 8:45 PM Formatting
    Friday, February 23, 2018 8:45 PM