My networking setup is quite similar to the one Wictor Wilen blogged about some time ago. Each virtual machine has 3 network connections:
|Type||Connect at power on||DHCP||Subnet|
The Host-Only network is used to connect to the machines with RDP, the NAT network is used to access the internet from my machines. I only connect the NAT network when needed, e.g. to activate a machine via the internet. On my host machine, I modified my HOSTS file to include the Host-Only IP addresses.
One of the first things I do after I power on my virtual machines is renaming the network connections and changing the network bindings order to LAN, Host-Only and finally NAT. In Server Core you can do this via the registry.
I also change the network connections other than LAN to not register their IP address in DNS. In Server Core you can do this via netsh:
netsh interface ipv4 set dnsservers name="NAT" source=dhcp register=none
Basic machines overview
For a typical (SharePoint) setup I create the following topology:
DC – domain controller (Windows Server Core)
DB – SQL 2012 (Windows Server Core)
SP – SP2010
I’m running both my domain controller and SQL server machines on Windows Server Core. This allows me to keep a relative lightweight footprint all together. I typically configure my domain controller to use only 256 MB of RAM and my SQL server to use 1 GB. My SharePoint box will consume 4 GB.
The domain controller runs on the same disk (SSD) as the host operating system, the SQL and SP machines run on the second drive (HDD).
My domain controller is a Windows Server Core machine, which allows me to reuse it for different lab scenario’s.
After I renamed the machine & configured networking (see above), I proceed to create the domain. In Windows Server Core you need to do this with an unattend file.
I open notepad on the DC, copy the text above and save it as c:unattend.txt
Then I create my domain by running:
This will install and configure all necessary components, including the DNS server. On each server with a GUI I install the remote management tools in order to administer my AD & DNS configuration.