Creating a Domain Network in a test environment using VirtualBox

Posted in Uncategorized by cdeschenes on January 25, 2013

This is just a simple how-to on using VirtualBox to create test domain networks. This can be used to do testing prior to setting up a domain network for a client etc. This will be a “barebones” how-to, it will show you a general way to go about setting it up via VirtualBox, you can proceed how you like from there.

Get VirtualBox to start with.

Make sure that you have windows OS .iso files
Obviously virtual machines require the os files to operate. For the purpose of this How-To we will be using Windows 2008 R2.

Setting up the initial server
Start up VirtualBox because we’re going to set up the first machine. Here you have to choose if you are going to have both dns and dhcp on the same machine or seperate and name this machine accordingly. For the purpose of this how-to both will be on the same machine.

1. Click new at the top of vb, this will start up the create new virtual machine wizard.
2. Name the machine according to what the machine will be doing. Or name it whatever you want and just keep a list of your machines.
3. Choose the designated operating system.
4. Assign a certain amount of RAM to be allocated to the virtual machine. This will vary based on how much RAM you actually have.
5. Now to create your Virtual Hard Disk. Preferably all of this will be done on an external hard drive or usb drive. (That will make all of this transportable so that you will have your test networks with you wherever you need them).
6. Stick with VDI it’s just the easiest.
7. Here you have a choice about the hard drive. You can have it Dynamically change based on if it gets filled up (this will use more and more space if you fill up past the original designated amount) or fixed where it will never change.
8. Here’s where you have the option as to where you are saving all of this. Next to the name of the server is a little Folder icon. Select the icon and then select where you’d like to have the information stored.
9. Hit create.

Setting up network adapter for the virtual machine.
Before we actually start the virtual machine we need to set up the network adapter so that it will be able to communicate with other virtual machines.

1.Click once on the virtual machine you just created and then click settings at the top.
2. Click on the Network tab and then under attached to: select host-only adapter. (This makes will create a network only accessible by the host and the virtual machines on the host, without using the hosts physical network interface. It essentially creates a virtual network inside the host).

Setting up DNS and DHCP on the machine
The first time you start up the machine you will be greeted with a fresh Windows 2008 R2 install. I’m going to trust you can do all of this and that we’re now at the desktop.

1. Make sure that you assign a static IP address, (a server with a dynamic IP address isn’t much use)
2. As soon as you log in there should be page that pops up “Initial Configuration Tasks” In section 3 you should see “Add roles”. Here you can add dns and dhcp to the server.
3. In the search bar enter dcpromo and hit enter. This will install Active Directory Domain Services. Follow the wizard after the installation to create the domain.

Create another virtual machine
Create another virtual machine using essentially the same steps as above (don’t have to install adac, dns or dhcp.

1. Make sure that you point the preferred dns to the ip address of the first server you created.

2. add to the domain by right clicking on computer then select properties. Next to computer name hit change settings and then select domain instead of work group and type in the name of your domain. You will be asked for domain administrator credentials to add the machine. Input them……

Alright you’ve created yourself a private domain network with virtual machines now. Use this to test different setups and organizational units, create another domain and experiment with domain trees. This is also a good place to take what a client wants and do some testing before implementing it in the real world. Getting it right on the first try in the real world tends to make people happy ;).

This is a handy tool for testing and first time learners. Hope this How-To was helpful. Like I said before this is just a barebones to get you to the point where you can customize to your liking.