Lab using VMware Workstation

Goal: Build a foundation for a Windows infrastructure using VMware Workstation

Hardware: I have a 3-year-old desktop with an Intel Core i7-3770 at 3.40 GHz, 32 GB of RAM, running Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit that I will be using.

Now this desktop only has one Ethernet port so as far as network settings in VMware Workstation, I will be using LAN Segments instead of the built-in Host-only or NAT. Before I go into the network settings in Workstation, let me give you an idea on how I build my VMs.

Currently, I have “templates” in VMware Workstation. Basically, I installed the OS, configured the basic settings (e.g., time zone, IE enhanced security configuration, etc), ran sysprep.

As you can see from the screenshot, I have a naming convention. It makes things organized especially if you would like to test different operating systems. Once the template has shut down after its sysprep, I go to the VM’s Snapshot Manager.

In Snapshot Manager, I take a snapshot of the VM. That snapshot then becomes the template. This template is what I use to create a linked clone. The desktop I am using only has 250 GB of disk space and a linked clone requires less disk space because it is a reference to the original virtual machine. The downside is that the linked clone cannot run without access to the original VM.

On the virtual machine that will act as a domain controller, I use two network adapters. One is assigned as a LAN segment. If it’s your first segment, creating a new one is as simple as typing a filename. In my case, I use the domain and a subnet as the name of the segment.

The second network adapter is set as a Bridge. This way, my VM will have access to the internet. I opted to use a LAN segment because VMware Workstation will only allow 1 NAT network. So to spice things up, instead of opting for a host-only network, I selected a LAN segment to play around with DHCP and RRAS or another software-based router.

On the next part of this series, I will discuss creating an Active Directory infrastructure.