Build a lab with Windows Server 2012


Microsoft has been working on the new release of the Windows Server operating system for a couple of years. Microsoft release the Windows Server 2012 to their OEM partners in August 2012, so now we need to get ready to implement it. Before we can implement the new solutions in productions we will need to build a lab and test the solutions. This guide is to help any one that will like a quick start in building a lab with Windows Server 2012. The guide will assume that the reader is technical and know at least how to install an operating system and that you already have the Windows Server 2012 software.

Lab Scenario

As with any Lab , you should have a reason to build it. I will leave that up to you. But here is a quick scenario that can help you evaluate Window Server 2012.

You are an IT professional for Company A. Your CIO will like to maximize their investment in Microsoft software while lowering their expenses. Your task is to learn how the new features of Windows Server 2012 can help your company be more efficient with their IT assets.

Lab Diagram

This guide will help you build the foundation for your lab. This will include:

1 x Storage Server (Windows Server 2012 with ISCSI server feature enable)

1 x Hypervisor server (Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V Server 2012) to host the different roles

Note: If you do not have new hardware to install Hyper-V , there is a guide to use VMware ESXi 5 to build your Hyper-V servers. This is all for learning purpose so do not expect to have performance out of the Virtualized Hyper-V servers.

Lab Requirements

In order to build this lab you will need the following components:

  • Software
  • Storage Server
    • X64 server with at least 2GB of RAM
    • 500GB + Storage to share via iSCSI
    • 1G Network Card
  • Hypervisor Server
    • X64 server with at least 4GB of RAM
    • 1 to 4 10/100/1000 MBps Network Card
  • Networking Gear
    • To achieve the best performance for your lab you should use a Gigabit switch.

Steps to configure you Lab

  1. Configure Windows Server 2012 as ISCSI Storage Server
  2. Install Hyper-V 2012 Server
  3. Configure Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V Server
  4. Join your Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V Server 2012 to your domain
  5. Configure Network Cards for your Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V 2012 Server
  6. Hyper-V Network Configuration
  7. Configure Microsoft Failover Cluster in Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V 2012
  8. How to create a Microsoft Failover Cluster with PowerShell
  9. How to configure a Cluster Shared Volume
  10. Configure Cluster Time Zone
  11. How to create a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V
  12. How to create a VM image with Windows Server 2012
  13. How to deploy a VM from a Template
  14. Create a Highly Available Virtual Machine

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