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my workplace has a windows domain network run on Windows Server 2008 and i want to simulate a WS 2008 installation on my own , create virtual domain with windows enterprise images and test persmissions on users and learn about various other things about Active Directory ..

Is there software like VirtualPC or VMWare stuff that could be used to create a virtual domain network ??

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Is there software like VirtualPC or VMWare stuff that could be used to create a virtual domain network ??

Yeah, that's pretty much what you'd do.

Set up a bunch of VMs and/or decommissioned machines to create a test domain environment. If you use VMs, you need a pretty beefy hardware setup, or multiple servers to run enough guests to make a decent simulation. (And the proper licensing to run said guests, unless you want to rebuild the thing every 30 days. Look at the various MSDN licensing levels, which allow you to run a wide range of MS products, including operating systems, for testing or development purposes.)

And no, there's no software to do it automagically, you have to build it up manually. If there was such a product, everyone would replace their IT department with that software and save a truckload of money.

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To be fair, you don't need to re-install every 30 days. I think you can easily get a ton of testing done within the 200 some odd days that you can run under an evaluation. – Jason Taylor Jul 31 '12 at 17:48
@JasonTaylor Yep, you can run cscript slmgr.vbs /rearm up to 3 times, I believe, when activation runs out. – MDMarra Jul 31 '12 at 17:58

Virtual PC, VMWare Workstation, Oracle VirtualBox, etc are all desktop virtualization platforms. They don't have preconfigured "Just like my work network" options. What you need to do is get something like a TechNet subscription that entitles you to download Windows Server and gives you keys for non-production use. Then you set it up yourself.

The software that you listed is just a tool to enable multiple OSes to run on a single piece of hardware. They don't automatically create complex networks out of thin air.

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+1 on "they are tools". You will still have a lot of work to do. – uSlackr Jul 31 '12 at 18:51

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