Robert's Virtual

create a virtual networkBuilding a virtual network

Here is your starting point for building the virtual network. The idea here is to give you an environment to improve your skills by creating a network with a firewall and a mix of Windows and Linux machines. With a virtual network you'll be able to explore and try thing that a single machine, or even a few networked workstations, simply won't let you do.

 This is a three part series, each building on the previous. Once complete, you'll have a functioning virtual network of Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows machines, along with a firewall (pfSense). You'll also have a good foundation in virtualization. Here is what the finished product will look like.

The lessons

  • Part I - In part I we give a brief introduction to virtual machines, install and configure VMWare Server and build our very first virtual machine (Ubuntu Desktop 9.04). Just enough to whet your appetite.
  • Part II - Part II explores the user interface for VMWare Server and goes over networking in a virtual environment.
  • Part III - In this final installment we go thru the design process, install and configure our virtual network, and create a Windows Server 2003 Domain.

What can I do with a virtual network?

A virtual network gives you an environment to practice, experiment and test out things you need to know as a systems or network administrators. Knowing something about virtualization is a bonus!! Here are a few things you might want to research and try with this virtual network:

  •   Add some rules to your firewall to block well known ports and see how that works out for you

  •   Research and set up Squid Proxy Server

  •   Share files between Ubuntu and Windows

  •   Apply group policies to the OU’s …see if you can lock an XP Pro desktop down like they do in a
  •   Set up and manage a Linux or Windows email server

  •   Make one of the server a DHCP Server

  •   Make DNS functional LAN-wide

  •   Build a simple web page in Windows and upload it to your apache web server

  •   Use remote desktop, Windows or Linux

  •   Use PuTTy with SSH, Windows or Linux

  •   Set up some network monitoring tools …Recommend Linux tools

  •   Set up an IDS …Snort for Linux

  •   Install and manage IIS, Windows

  •   Explore encryption, certificates and secure file transfer

  •   Use terminal services / LSTP

  •   Add another NIC to the firewall and reconfigure your network, adding a DMZ

  •   Whatever else you find challenging or interesting