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We are putting together a training system for Windows Server 2008 R2. We wish the students to be able to log on as standard users but still be able to launch the server manager and add the Hyper-V role and virtual servers to practice on. Does anyone know the way to allow standard users to run and use server manager?

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No, there isn't a way, nor should there be. Administrators manage servers, users use them. As suggested, give them admin access to VMs, problem solved. – HopelessN00b Nov 6 '12 at 18:01

Only Administrators are going to be able to use Server Manager. It doesn't say it explicitly here, but take a look at this article.

Also, if they are going to be practicing, your lab should allow for easy rollbacks when something damaging happens, and train people to use the software as they would in the real world.

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Run the server 2008 R2 servers as VMs under esxi 5, you can quite happily run hyper-visors inside hyper-visors, don't worry, you won't rip a hole in the space-time continuum.

This way you can make them administrators, then roll back to an earlier snapshot after the lesson.


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I'd suggest not using snapshots for this purpose, but full VM backups or clones. No issues with rollback corruption that way, and it is the recommended way for a long-term use case, that this sounds like. – HopelessN00b Nov 6 '12 at 18:02
True enough, though shutting down, snapshotting, powering back up will provide a clean base disk, so long as you don't have tens of snapshots in a live state and just stick to one or two offline ones it's generally not an issue. – Alex Berry Nov 7 '12 at 10:54

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