Exchange 2007 or 2010 Lab on one laptop using VMWare...possible?

By TekyWanabe ·
Exchange 2007 or 2010 Lab on one laptop using VMWare...possible?

This is a question that's most likely been asked several times in the past and that I have myself asked previously but I'm still looking for an answer...

Up till this point, I've only worked with Exchange at a 'basic' level...move/delete/create user mailboxes, manage rights to mailboxes, calendars and public folders, etc. Having now embarked on a journey to really get under the hood of Exchange and get my hands dirty, I've bought a couple of books and am looking to set up a virtual lab at home.

Unfortunately, I've only got limited hardware for now...

A laptop with
- with an Intel Core i5 processor, 2.1 GHz or so
- 350 GB HDD

I have VMWare Server installed.

1. What is the "minimum" number of virtual machines I will need to install for an Exchange 2007 or 2010 lab?

I'm looking at 4 virtual machines possibly...
2 x Server 2008 (each a DC, running DNS and on which the Exchange 2007 or 2010 will be installed)
1 x Windows XP
1 X Windows 7

2. Any suggestion for the configuration of these machines

3. What's the maximum number of Virtual machines I'll need to run concurrently at any one time to simulate Send / Receive email...if at all possible ?

Many thanks for your answers and suggestions and here's wishing all TechRepublicans (hmmmm) a happy and prosperous 2012

Best regards,


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All Answers

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Cannot really add much to what you propose

by robo_dev In reply to Exchange 2007 or 2010 Lab ...

The tricky part is setting up the domain, DNS and so forth...the OS install is pretty simple and really no different than setting up physical machines.

Try to keep your virtual HDD sizes as small as possible, or it's real easy to run out of disk space if you create lots of snapshots. Not sure about Win 2008, but XP or Win 7 work just fine on a 8 GB vhd.

The only trick to setting up XP on Vmware is to download/enable a virtual floppy image with the required Vmware SCSI drivers, then do the 'F6 to load drivers' routine when you install XP. (or else XP install will find no HD to install to).

I think the other Windows OSs will identify the VMware vhd controller as Buslogic SCSI and they should load up without the extra drivers.

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Reponse To Answer

by TekyWanabe In reply to Cannot really add much to ...

Hi Robo_Dev,

Many thanks for the feedback.
I have, before now, installed XP and Server 2008 on VMWare on another laptop and was able to create a domain to which the XP was added so no problems with this whatsoever.

What I'm looking for is a way of setting up the proposed lab on just one machine and still be able to a get my hands dirty with Exchange...if the proposed would work, that is.

Thanks for any further suggestions.


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