Bryan Von Axelson 2010

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I was recently looking for additional readiness information for Windows Azure to contribute to the multi-part series we are putting together for our partners via this blog, I remembered the TechNet Labs, although many of us have had mixed experiences in the past, as I revisited the site, I realized that a major refresh has occurred.  I found some great Windows Azure labs that were available; however there are many more solutions available than just Windows Azure, so I decided to do a separate post on the “New Improved TechNet Labs”

Risk Free - Virtual environments for testing Microsoft's newest products and technologies

Simple - Guided hands-on labs that you can complete in 90 minutes or less

Fast - No complex set-up or installation required, and you can use TechNet Virtual Labs online immediately.

Many solutions are covered including: Desktop, Server, Exchange, SQL, IIS, Lync, Office, SharePoint, Cloud, Azure, and System Center.

TechNet Labs

 

Virtual Labs System Requirements

System Requirements

Virtual Labs are available on two different platforms – Virtual Server and Hyper-V. Depending on which lab you select, your system must meet the following minimum requirements for either the Virtual Server Platform or Hyper-V platform.

Virtual Server Lab System Minimum Requirements  
Operating System Only Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 are supported.
Browser Due to the complex requirements of presenting lab content over the internet, only Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 5 or later are supported.

If you do not have Internet Explorer 5 or later, you can download it here.
Screen Resolution The labs are best viewed at a screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater. Otherwise you may experience clipping of content.
US English Keyboard These online labs are in US English and only support US English language keyboards.
Cookies Enabled

You must have cookies enabled to run these labs. To enable cookies, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Security tab, click Custom level.
  3. Scroll down to the "Cookies" section.
  4. To enable:
    • Set Allow cookies that are stored on your computer to Enable.
    • Set Allow per-session cookies to Enable.
    • Click OK to save changes.
ActiveX Control

When you enter the lab, you may be asked to download the ActiveX Control if you don't already have it installed on the computer.

You will most likely receive the following message:


If you do, right click the message. You should then see the following menu appear:

Select Install ActiveX Control. You should then see the following dialog box appear:

Click the Install button, and the Active X control should be downloaded and installed on your system.

If you see the following alert, you will need to change your browser settings to download and run ActiveX Controls:

  1. From your IE browser, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Security tab, click Custom level.
  3. The first set of options will be for Active X Controller. Select the following options under ActiveX controls and plug-ins:
    • Download signed ActiveX controls - Prompt
    • Download unsigned ActiveX controls - Disable
    • Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe - Disable
    • Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins - Enable
    • Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting - Enable
    • Click OK to save changes and restart your browser.
Firewall Connecting to the labs require that you have port 443 open. Please see your network administrator for assistance.

 

 

Hyper-V Lab System Minimum Requirements  
Operating System Only Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 are supported.
Browser Due to the complex requirements of presenting lab content over the Internet, only Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 6 or later are supported.

If you do not have Internet Explorer 6 or later, you can download it here.
Screen Resolution The labs are best viewed at a screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater. Otherwise you may experience clipping of content.
US English Keyboard These online labs are in US English and only support US English language keyboards.
Cookies Enabled

You must have cookies enabled to run these labs. To enable cookies, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Security tab, click Custom level.
  3. Scroll down to the "Cookies" section.
  4. To enable:
    • Set Allow cookies that are stored on your computer to Enable.
    • Set Allow per-session cookies to Enable.
    • Click OK to save changes.
ActiveX Control

When you enter the lab, you may be asked to download or enable the ActiveX Control if you don't already have it installed on the computer.

If you see the following alert, you will need to change your browser settings to download and run ActiveX controls:

  1. From your IE browser, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Security tab, click Custom level.
  3. The first set of options will be for Active X Controller. Select the following options under ActiveX controls and plug-ins:
    • Download signed ActiveX controls - Prompt
    • Download unsigned ActiveX controls - Disable
    • Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe - Disable
    • Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins - Enable
    • Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting - Enable
  4. Click OK to save changes and restart your browser.

INSTALLING / RUNNING THE ACTIVEX CONTROL

  1. Click the Information Bar at the top of your browser.
  2. Select Install/Run ActiveX Control or Run Add-on.
  3. When the Internet Explorer Security warning dialog appears, click Install or Run.

ENABLING THE ACTIVEX CONTROL

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  3. Under Show, click All add-ons.
  4. In the list of add-ins, search for the Microsoft Terminal Services Client Control ActiveX control or for the Microsoft RDP client Control ActiveX control. If you cannot find the control, see the steps in "If the control is not displayed in the list of add-ons" at the end of this section.
  5. Click the control, click Enable, and then click Close to close the Manage Add-ons dialog box.

IF THE CONTROL IS NOT DISPLAYED IN THE LIST OF ADD-ONS
Sometimes the Microsoft Terminal Services Client Control ActiveX control will not be displayed in the list of add-ons. If it is not displayed, you can try the following steps to attempt to display the control by resetting Internet Explorer back to a default configuration.

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Click File, and then click Import and Export.
  3. Follow the steps in the wizard to export your Favorites.
  4. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  5. On the Advanced tab, click Reset.
Firewall Connecting to the labs requires that you have port 443 open. Please see your network administrator for assistance.