Ideal for a lab environment setup on a laptop.
Nothing dramatically exciting – on the other hand a great way to use the powerful laptop hardware you may already have. I built out this lab using
- Windows Server 2016 Datacenter as the OS for a
- Lenovo Thinkpad W530 (BIOS 2.66) running on a by now outdated
- 500 GB Crucial MX200 (MU04) with
- 32GB Cruical RAM.
The SSD was partitioned three ways during install – 450 MB Recovery, 100 MB Efi (to allow for secure boot) the remainder was left as a single partition. The install of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter via preformatted USB key using Rufus 2.11 and the downloaded Windows 2016 Server iso was quick and uneventful. In case your system supports UEFI secure boot (all systems 2012 and newer should) you will want to format your USB stick using GPT with Uefi support using the NTFS file system to allow for the large wim file needed for the install to fit on there.
Once all the base hardware drivers were taken care of the Hyper-V role was added and the first guest (Lab-DC Windows 2016 Standard with Desktop) was created. Although not recommended I am also ab-using the Domain Controller (DC) as a WSUS server for the lab environment supported by the Windows Internal database. As I created this lab based on Windows 2016 and SQL 2016 * – product and applicable update selection within WSUS is currently very easy – subsequently allowing me to update all new prospect member servers in the lab domain from this WSUS server instead of pulling down updates from the internet per machine.
After the DC including WSUS were configured I created 2 more guests inside the Hyper-V environment – assigned 2048 MB starting memory each with Dynamic Memory management. Network flexibility was achieved by adding the laptops physical NIC as well as the wireless NIC to all lab machines in addition to a virtual private NIC all lab machines can use. This allows me to switch from docked Ethernet mode to wireless mode with the lab machines still being able to have access to the internet (not required).
After enabling the clustering feature on Lab-B and Lab-C node and a pre cluster build validation check – creating the Windows 2016 Cluster was easy.
As I have mentioned above this basic Windows cluster build out was needed for subsequent SQL Server cluster, High Availabilty and Azure configuration testing using SQL 2016 – stay tuned.
*Important Note: SQL 2014 and newer – yes this includes new SQL 2016 Developer Edition (the functional equivalent to Enterprise Edition) are free since March 31st 2016. The link I included above will lead you to the Evaluation download – register and download it – during the install you can select to install the Developer Edition 🙂