So I’m writing an MCTS exam tomorrow on Configuring SCVMM 2008.  

The problem with this exam is there are no preparatory materials other than field experience (which I have) and an online course (which I’ve taken).

There is a classroom course, but in my case, I think it would go into areas that I’ve already touched on.  

So I need to play with SCVMM 2008 and Hyper-V in an environment that is NOT work (so I don’t make an error in the corporate network) and one where I can freely change pieces on the fly.

So I have single computer.  Not a network of machines.  I do not have a house full of the latest and greatest.  I’m like you.  I’ve got kids to feed and I’m allowed, at great discretion to own one really good thing. 

I have ONE (count ‘em folks) ONE 64bit computer.  It’s got the Hypervisor on the CPU and 8 gigs of ram.   This was a machine that started out with 2 gigs and as I could get $50 and $50 there, the additional was added over time.   The machine is about a year and a half old with a single 500 gig hard drive.

So to practice for my 70-403 exam I’ve downloaded from Technet Direct (so if you just went to Techdays in Canada, you have that subscription) and have downloaded Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (not the R2 version, because this is for 70-403), Server 2008, Systems Center Operations Manager 2007, Server 2008 and Windows Vista.

So this weekend (and last) I did nothing but play with creating machines, templates, hardware profiles, deployment, storing into Libraries.   I setup Virtual Server 2005 under a Windows Vista Computer in Hyper-V to “manage” it with SCVMM.  I played with the Powershell scripts and learned how to deploy multiple machines with ONE LINE.

I obtained free software from StarFire to give me Virtual SAN device by setting up a Virtual machine with their software and emulating a SAN.   I think I even setup a Cluster (single node) in my house.

And the cost of the hardware to do all this?  You’re about $500.  Yeah that’s it.  For the computer chip, ram and harddrive.  And the thing is once you have this all setup, you can really play with Hyper-V and various operating systems.  Why it’s even a breeze to setup multiple domains and test Swing migrations.

So tomorrow morning I’m going to write my 70-403.   And when you see my next post on Twitter, my next blog post it will simply be one word I hope.


The Energized Tech