This blog post brought to you by eighteen year veteran Microsoft Premier Field Engineer David Morgan.
Goal of this Post In this post, I'll be showing you one method you can build out an entire environment that you can use to deploy servers, clients, Microsoft and third party applications; i.e. anything that can be deployed on Windows Server Hyper-V on a single desktop class computer you might find on Craigslist or some other technology source. The only expense in this post will be purchasing a computer and not even that as you may already have an old desktop laying around that will work. The tasks in this post require the user to have a minimum ~200 level knowledge of and experience with Windows Server products. The steps herein to attain the desired results are not exquisite in detail and may require some personal intuition and/or research. Also note that I've recommended a File-Share Witness configuration instead of the normal Disk Witness a two node cluster would be best suited for. The reason I've done so is this document does not go through the configuration of iSCSI or other methods for supplying storage to the cluster built here. (Sounds like another blog post opportunity.) For the widest clustering experience, you'll want to learn how to use iSCSI. You can do so by configuring iSCSI Target on your Host machine or Domain Controller. Once you have a suitable computer, all the Microsoft software you might wish to use is free by using evaluation versions of Windows Server, System Center, SQL, Exchange, etc. Many third party products also provide free evaluation software you can use as well. First: Hardware This is what this document will build: You'll need to make a decision on what versions of Windows Server Hyper-V you wish to use as a base platform; your Host machine. Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 have slightly different hardware requirements; the biggest difference is 2012 R2 and below do not require SLAT and Windows Server 2016 does (there are additional requirements for 2016 if you wish to use some of the new advanced features; Nested Hyper-V, Hot Add NICs, Hot Add/Subtract Memory, etc.). Here are the official requirements page for Servers 2012 R2 and 2016:
Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Hardware Requirements:
Out of all the requirements above the basic needs for this post are:
Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V:
BIOS support for Virtualization
Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V:
BIOS support for Virtualization
SLAT (S econd-Level Address Translation)
A minimum of 8 GB of system memory
A minimum of three hard disks; one OS & two data
A minimum of one network interface adapter
As always, the more capabilities and capacity you have the better performing your system will be; multiple processors, faster storage and more memory will improve your experience but you can get by just fine with the basics above.
Here are the basic steps:
Configure your hardware
Install the Operating System and Hyper-V role
Configure necessary Hyper-V networks
Create a virtual machine with the Domain Controller role installed
Create two virtual machines to be cluster nodes with Failover Cluster feature installed
Configure your cluster
Configure your desired clustered resources
Go Play ……………….
Here are the steps in detail:
Configure your host machine's hardware
Verify or enable virtualization in the BIOS
If possible, place your disk drives on separate controllers
Download the evaluation version of your desired operating system:
You are now ready to proceed with cluster & Hyper-V learning exercises, troubleshoot customer issues, explore, whatever. I've used failover clustering here just as an example; once you have the host server and the domain controller you can configure any supportable virtual machine and application resources you desire.