TechNet Virtual Labs
Ever wanted to test Microsoft's newest software in a totally secure sandbox environment? Wouldn't it be great to be able to test new servers immediately, without formatting hard drives or dedicating one or more computers to the project? Now you can, with the TechNet Virtual Labs.
The Virtual Labs are available via this link
There's a huge range of labs available for you to play with and learn how techniques such as network isolation / segmentation can be applied via IPSec all for free via your browser. Each lab is designed to take up to 90 minutes.
I've picked the broad topics that I think you'll find most useful from a security perspective and listed them below. There are many other areas including SQL and Exchange.
It's easy to gain access to the labs - you need to register - this is NOT some kind of sales ploy - your privacy is respected and hence you won't receive follow up emails unless you opt for them. The only catch is that the registration for forces you to select a "State" which is pretty meaningless unless you're a resident of the USA - I picked "British Columbia" being a UK citizen as at least half of the name is right & BC's a really nice place!
Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA)
In this virtual lab, you'll experiment with ISA's advanced application-layer firewall, VPN, and Web cache solution. Gain exposure to new features in ISA 2004 and learn more about securing Exchange Server with ISA. The enhanced security of the virtual lab's sandbox environment provides the resources you need for testing ISA's newest features.
Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005
Take advantage of key features of Microsoft Active Directory and SQL Server management packs as well as new features of MOM 2005. This virtual lab allows you to experiment with managing Exchange and Active Directory and Monitoring SQL Server with MOM 2005 in the enhanced security of a sandbox environment.
Improve the planning and management of your organization's security strategy with the help of this virtual lab. Familiarize yourself with and test security features of products such as Exchange Server 2003, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server and Windows Server 2003, and tools including Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) and Software Update Services (SUS).
Microsoft Systems Management Server Manager (SMS) 2003
Test the capabilities of SMS 2003 in the sandbox environment of this virtual lab. Experiment with and learn more about SMS 2003 and Microsoft Active Directory integration, patch management, security updates, Office deployment and configuration of SMS for hardware and software asset inventory and usage.
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
In this virtual lab, you'll have the opportunity to road test new and improved features and functionality of Windows Server 2003 including performance, management, and usability enhancements to Microsoft Active Directory. In addition, hands-on labs provide guidance in scripting, Rights Management Services (RMS) and more.