My Lab in the Cloud

Most of us IT professionals are in dire need of a lab environment to evaluate new products as well as product versions. As I travel a lot, I like to travel light. Therefore, I do not want a powerful laptop because of it’s size and weight. I do not want to buy the appropriate hardware because of the cost. And I do not want to use company-owned hardware because I want to be independent of perational decisions regarding such an environment. Now, let me tell you about my root server.

My Requirements

  1. Free choice of hypervisor – or rather ability to install OS by myself
  2. Potent hardware for 5-10 virtual machines running at the same time
  3. Bring Your Own License (BYOL)
  4. Access to a remote console
  5. Preferably a German hoster

My Root Server

My research produced Hetzner a hosting company based in Germany. They offer root servers with different hardware configurations just like other hosters. But unlike the competition, Hetzner offers affordable servers with a monthly plan as well as a monthly cancellation.

But – more importantly – they satisfy all of my requirements:

Apart from meeting these requirements, Hetzner provides me with 32GB of RAM, two drives with 3TB and 4 cores (plus HT) for €69 per month.

My Lessons Learned

Over time I have realized that paying for reinstalling a system does not work for me. Therefore, I started deploying Windows to the other drive using dism. Now I only need a few minutes of access to the remote console – which is provided free of cost – to customize the OS and configure remote access.

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