When building out a lab the first thing I do is build out a Domain Controller and DNS server. I can then use AD for credential management, and the DNS functionality is helpful as well. I also use that server to create an iSCSI target for my hosts.
1. Virtual Environment
The first step is to have your virtualization environment ready to go. It’s easy enough to next-next-finish your way through the VMware Workstation install, so I won’t detail out those steps.
2. Download Windows ISOs
You can download the Server 2019 ISO here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2019
Select ISO, fill out the info required, and then hit continue. Select your language, and then start the download.
3. Create the Lab Domain Controller VM
- In VMware Workstation press CTRL+N to open the New Virtual Machine Wizard, and make sure Typical is selected, then click Next
- Select the option for Installer Disc Image File, and browse to the location you downloaded the Server 2019 ISO to then click Next
- Since this will be using the evaluation license leave the product key blank, enter a name and password, and then click Next.
- Accept the prompt about not having a product key
- Enter the name and location for the VM, and click Next again
- Use the default hard drive size of 60GB (another drive will be added later for the iSCSI target storage), and click Next
- Click Customize Hardware…
- Set the VM hardware
- Set the CPU and RAM to what you’d like. I used 2 vCPUs and 8GB RAM on my VM.
- Change the Network Adapter to Bridged
- Click Close
- Uncheck the box for Power on this virtual machine after creation and click finish.
- Now to add a the hard drive for the iSCSI target and remove the floppy drive. In the library view right-click on the VM and click Settings
- Find the Floppy drive and click Remove (NOTE: If you don’t remove the floppy drive the OS install will encounter an error and fail), then click Add
- Select Hard Drive and click Next
- Leave the default drive (mine happens to be NVMe) and click Next
- Leave the default option to create a new drive and click Next
- Enter the size for the drive (I used 750GB) and click Next
- Leave the default file name and click Finish
- Click OK to finish the hardware changes
- Power on the VM
4. Install the OS to the Lab DC
- While the VM is booting you might see a prompt to press a key to boot from CD. If that happens click into the window and press a key.
- Select the language, and keyboard settings
- Click Install Now
- When prompted to select the OS choose Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Evaluation (Desktop Experience) because we like graphical interfaces, and click Next
- Read through all of the licenses terms, and if you accept the terms check the box to accept them and click Next
- Select the Custom install option
- Select Drive 0, this should be the 60GB drive, and click Next
- Wait for the install to complete. This might take some time.
- When the install is complete it will prompt for a password. Set that and click Finish.
- The last thing to do for the VM deployment is to install VMware Tools.
- Log into the VM using the password set previously
- Right click on the VM in the Library an select Install VMware Tools
- Navigate to the D: drive and double click it. That should kick off the Autorun for the installer.
- Follow the defaults for the install. Next > Next > Install > Finish and then click Yes when prompted for a reboot.