I am going to begin studying for my MCITP and MCSE and need to build a machine that I can install windows server 2008 or the newest 2012 on to practice and play with. I have read the system requirements for both but I am wondering if anyone has any Motherboard and or Processer suggestions. I think I need to go with an I7, but not sure if that woudl be best.
I was also wondering if it would be possible to use Amazon AWS services for this purpose instead of purchasing and building my own system. Any suggestions?
Thank you MrBlack, I willl look into this as an option. After the 90 days, are there any options to continue using this Azure public cloud? I will be studying for the MCSE and some other tests, and will need more than 3 Months. Is this a solution that can be extended past the 90 day trial? If not, are there other cloud solutions? My other option is to build my own system which I know would be somewhat costly, but would also give me the experience of maintaining my own "stuff".
For educational practice, you can try out either server 2008 or 2012 on a VM rather than real hardware.
However if you must have it installed on a real box, use one with as much RAM as you can get. Since this isn't for production, you will not need any fancy RAID setup for the hard drives. As for CPU anything faster than a C2D will be sufficient. Personally I've been using a box with Phenom II X4 925 + 8GB DDR3 for Server 2008 R2.