Started Networks self study, advice please?

By jamesfrench866 ·
I just got A+, will be looking for work soon. But started network+. I have a small peer to peer network, 1 XP, 1 Mac tiger, 1 Mac Snow Leopard, 3 Old Macs OS 8.1, 2 9.22 OSs. Want to learn domain and other mainstream stuff. should I purchase an old server, get Windows Server 2003, don't have a lot of money. Or what Network OS and hardware do you recommend? Linux? Since I have old Macs that can access newer Macs, but not the other way around, any suggestions of ubuntu or free server software that can handle Windows and Mac. I know I need windows experience, but only have one XP machine running XP home, Pro and have Mac mini snow leopard that could get Other OS or NOS via boot camp?

I need hands on network learning. I also have HP printer that is both USB and ethernet (network printer), but I think besides all the above reasons for server, I also would like to have a server for NAS for backups and retrieval of data and for storage of stuff I don't want on my other computers (clear out more space).

I also thought about HP who have a nice home network server for under $500, that would be nice, but less learning and problem solving. Could purchase used computer and use it for storage and networking practice, load up with extra drives. Many choices? I don't know a lot about servers and NOS choices.

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by dgoldsmith In reply to Started Networks self st ...

First, if you don't want to spend money on hardware you can utilize the technet virtual labs to get a hands-on experience with the technology. Second, if you can afford a decent server I'd say a dual or quad-core processor with adequate amount of ram then you can virtualize your Linux and windows servers. Actually, you don't have to spend money on a server operating system you can download an evaluation copy from Microsoft for free. They have 2003 and 2008 editions for download. As for the virtualization, there are plethora of desktop virtualization programs out there such as VMWARE, HYPER-V and Virtual PC. you can download virtual PC or VMWARE player or other versions for free.

Lastly, I suggest that you take a class or two on networking essentials or you could actually audit a college course so that you have a instructor to work with that can answer any questions you may have about this rapidly changing field of IT. For now just focus on learning the basics of networking and if you already that base then good but don't hardware unless you ready to spend money and your at the level where you will need utilize the technology (SAN,NAS,ETC)

Dave G

Technet virtual labs:

virtual pc


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by jamesfrench866 In reply to MY SUGGESTIONS

Nice of you to respond, I appreciate it. There certainly is a lot to learn with all the protocols and OSI stack etc. etc.

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