Create your own Lab environment

How to make your own lab environment for SCCM

First, everything is easy to test in virtual environment. You can choose more options for virtualized your lab environment. In past I've used heavy separated server, expensive pies of hardware, a lot of noise and power consumption. Now I use for almost scenarios only one workstation. My day by day workstation is not cheap but is e excellent computer for day by day use, I'm a photo enthusiast, and an excellent lab machine. I used Dell with I7 3770 CPU, 2 x Crucial mx100 512 RAID 0, 4x8 GB DDR4. In virtual environment you will need more RAM and fast HDD to run multiple instances, CPU not too much in a lab environment. I'm a big and old fan of Hyper-V, is hypervisor type 1 (bare metal) free, free in windows server but also in windows 8. But for my lab I used VMWare workstation current version (11). Is more flexible, easy to add other hyper visors in virtual environment (yes you can run Hyper-V or ESXi over VMware) and of course is not recommended production environment only for labs. I've tested both and the performance are similar. So I recommend Hyper-v for SCCM testing.

We will use 3 computers:

  • AD server (2012)
  • SCCM server (2012)
  • Windows Client (W8)

SSCM server required more ram also for SQL server

You can use all the software in trial version. 

Download windows 8 TechNet 90 Days

Download windows 2012 server Techent 180 Days

Download System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1 with Endpoint Protection 180 Days 


PS. I discovered that SSD is a must with minimum 16 GB RAM 

Performance on Host computer  Crucial mx100 512 GB RAID 0

Performance on VM machine Crucial mx100 512 GB RAID 0