As an IT professional, it is important to have a lab environment to play around with – whether you’re a developer writing code or a systems administrator building servers – to test ideas and concepts prior to doing it for reals. Time and time again, I’ve heard folks say how expensive it is to build a lab environment. That used to be the case but not anymore. With cloud providers and virtualization options, there is really no excuse to not build a personal lab environment that is both affordable and economical.

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