I have a subscription to Microsoft Technet. That allows you to download and use just about any of their business applications, servers, and operating systems for learning and testing purposes for one annual cost. For as much development, research, and geekery that I do on a daily basis, this is priceless.
I have a pretty powerful server in my basement. It is powered by a quad core XEON with 16GB of RAM. I decided to install Windows 2008 r2 Datacenter on it so that I can play with Hyper-V. At work, we use almost exclusively VMWare ESX servers. Due to their greedy tampering with their already overly taxing pricing structure, I am seriously considering switching to Microsoft’s Hyper-V solution.
My first Virtual Machine on the server was a Windows 2008 R2 domain controller. I also added the roles of DHCP and DNS for reasons obvious to anyone who has read this far and is still with me.
I’ve added every computer and laptop to the new BOSTEDOR.NET domain but I left them logging in as local user accounts until I either have time to migrate their settings manually to a domain user profile or find a good tool that will do it for me.
My next bit of bringing the Enterprise into the home is to play with various Internet security gateway products to see which one delivers the speed, accuracy, and security that works best for home users at an affordable cost.