Few blog posts ago, I decided to build a virtual environment for a personal SQL Server sandbox. So, the Virtual SQL Playground Adventure blog series came to life.
In the introduction I promised to document everything but did not do a follow up blog post after that. That doesn’t mean I did not build the virtual environment.
As shown in the screen capture above, I have the following:
- Domain Controller / Active Directory
- SharePoint 2013
- SQL Server 2012
- SQL Server 2012 in SharePoint Mode
- Windows 8 Enterprise
The DC indicates that all these servers and a client are under a domain. If you are building a virtual environment even for personal testing/learning purposes, a basic domain should be a bare minimum.
Plus, if you check the training kit for the SQL Server 2012 certification exams, network is a required component of the exam preparation.
I have used this test environment in writing my book “SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Blueprints“. I think I am ready for a new test environment. And I want to start from a clean slate as I commit myself to learning more about SQL Server this year.
I know this particular post is supposed to be a guide to building your virtual environment as indicated by the title. But you know what? I am not going to rehash the how-to stuff. I’d like to point you, though, to some blog posts that I found useful in building my new virtual playground.
- Building a Completely Free Playground for SQL Server by Jonathan Kehayias
- Building a Virtual Lab with Hyper-V by Steve Jones
- Setting Up a Home Learning Lab by Chris Presley
- SQL Server 2012: Installing on a Virtual Machine by James Serra
- Hyper-V Lab Environment Setup by Bruce Hendry
My new virtual environment is quite similar to the first one. What I did differently is use differencing disks for the same purpose mentioned by Steve Jones in his blog series (see link above) – and that is, to save storage space. And also, I separated all the virtual machines and their virtual disks on an external hard drive.
The virtual machine portion of building my SQL Server Playground is almost complete. I just need to add a couple of clients (Windows 8.1 x64) to use as development machine and test workstation for third-party tools.