The first requirement for a home lab is a fully functioning Active Directory / DNS set-up. For your home lab this guide goes through the installation steps for a successful Active Directory and DNS installation. After the installation, we go through the process of adding DNS A records for various parts of your lab.
- Configure – Hostname & Static IP Address
- Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Service)
- Promote to Domain Controller
- Configure – Add DNS “A” records for your LAB
- Lab has a newly deployed Windows Server 2012 R2 Image
Key Configuration Information
- Hostname – lion
- Domain – vmlab.local
- IP Address – 10.0.0.5
- Subnet Mast – 255.0.0.0
- Default Gateway – 10.0.0.2
- DNS 1 – 10.0.0.5
- DNS 2 – 126.96.36.199
1. HOW TO – Configure – Hostname & Static IP Address
Step 1 – Configure a host name (computer name), for your newly deployed Windows Server 2012.
> Open Server Manager > Click on Local Server > Click on the computer name > You will see system properties > Click change > Type the Computer Name e.g dc > Click OK > Restart the Server
Step 2 – Configure a static IP address, for your newly deployed Windows Server 2012.
> Open the Control Panel > Click on the Network & Sharing Center > Click on Ethernet 0 (or your main network interface > Click properties > Click the properties for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Select the radio button for- Use the following IP address & User the following DNS server addresses > Configure the details provided, or your down static IP address details > Click ok and close windows.
Step 3 – Configure a complex password for the Administrator account, this is a required perquisite before installing the Active Directory role.
> Type Control & X on home screen > Click on Computer Management > Click on Local Users & Groups > Click Users > Right Click on the Administrator Account > Select Re-set password > Configure a complex password e.g “Vmware1!” click ok and close windows.
2. HOW TO – Setup ADDS Role (Active Directory Domain Services)
Step 1 – Start Wizard
Click on Start > Open Server Manager > Start the Add Roles & Features Wizard
Step 2 – Select Role Based Installation
Step 3 – Select a server from the server pool > Select your server “dc”
Step 4 – Select Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) from the list of Server Roles you wish to add, it will auto add dependent roles when you select the ADDS.
Step 5 – Accept defaults and press next. Note – When you install the ADDS role, it will automatically install the DNS Role on the same machine
Step 6 – Accept defaults and press Install
Step 7 – Wait for Installation to complete, and the installation of the ADDS role is complete.
3. HOW TO – Promote to Domain Controller
In Server Manager you will see a notification “Configuration required for Active Directory Domain Services at DC”, this is because you now need to promote your server to be a Domain Controller.
Step 1 – Open Server Manager > You will see a notification Click “More”
Step 2 – In the All Servers Task Details dialogue box > Click on the Action “Promote this server to a domain…”
Step 3 – Click on “Add a new forest” > Specify your Root domain name e.g vmlab.local > Click Next
Step 4 – Leave the Forest & Domain functional levels as Windows Server 2012 R2 > Type a complex Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) password e.g Vmware1!
Step 5 – Leave the defaults > Click Next
Step 6 – Specify a netbios name e.g vmlab > Click next
Step 7 – Leave the defaults > Click Next
Step 8 – Leave the defaults > Click Next
Step 9 (optional) – For all you Windows PowerShell enthusiasts you can click on the View Script button to see the PowerShell script.
Step 10 – Click Install
Step 11 – Restart your server after successful installation
Step 12 – Active Directory & DNS is now successfully installed on your server.
4. HOW TO – Configure – Add DNS “A” Records for your LAB
The addition of additional “A” Records to your internal DNS server will allow the internal name resolution of servers within your home lab including your ESXi hosts, storage server and vCenter.
Step 1 – Click on Start > Go to Administrative Tools > Click on DNS
Step 2 – Expand your Domain > Expand Forward Lookup Zones > Expand and click on your domain e.g vmlab.com > Right Click in a white space on the right hand side window > Select New Host (A or AAA)…
Step 3 – Type a host name you want to resolve here e.g ESX 1- notice the FQDN – Fully Qualified Domain Name is populated for you > Type the corresponding IP address you want ESX 1 to resolve to e.g 10.0.0.50 > Ensure you tick create PTR (Reverse DNS) record > Click Add Host
Note – PTR (Reverse DNS) record creation is optional, and is not required for the lab purpose. If you need it to work, ensure you have a reverse lookup zone configured first.
Step 4 – You should see your new forward lookup “A” Record appear successfully. All DNS resolution requests for esx1.vmlab.local will now forward to 10.0.0.50.
Step 5 – Repeat steps 1 -4 in this section to add the remaining “A” records for the remaining servers in your home lab. You should have the following A records present for your home lab.
- vcenter.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.10
- storage.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.20
- ESX1.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.50
- ESX2.vmlab.local / 10.0.0.60
Your Lab is now successfully configured with Active Directory & DNS to resolve your internal lab name resolution. The second part in this series looks at vCenter Server 5.5 Appliance installation.