I've completed setting up a small test lab using a few tools that are my personal favorites. Below is a sample of what that lab looks like from a 10,000 ft. view:
As you can see from the above configuration, this is a really simple setup. This configuration appears to be sufficient enough for now based on what I'm reading and learning. I have configured one VM guest as a core instance and the other as a full GUI instance, a fully functional, enterprise grade firewall router virtualized, which properly segments and isolates my physical network from my virtual network.
Something that has never worked well for me in the past with Virtualbox has been networking. This is where VMware Workstation shined for so long. Well, I can setup a robust lab using Virtualbox and pFSense. It took me only a few minutes literally to have this setup and configured, the ISO is less than 100Mb, and with it being FreeBSD based, there's really not a lot of overhead or resource demand.
I like to have remote access to these VM guests too so I can study with them even when I'm not in the lab. That's where Pertino comes in. Each VM guest has (and will have) a connection to my Pertino SDN. This will enable RDP access, and even RSAT access from my Windows 8.1 testing laptop.
To build this lab environment for yourself, here's a great guide to follow (has to be the best, most complete guide to setting up a virtual lab than I have seen in a long time!). You will want to obtain the following software / tools:
- Oracle VM VirtualBox
- pFSense (Needed to Setup Internal Network)
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Evaluation (SVR-Lab2 - core / SVR-Lab1 full install)
- Pertino (Optional)
As of this evening, my lab is setup and ready for activities.