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I just created a VM of Windows 2008 R2 (Standard) server and installed SQLServer 2008 Standard edition. Now before moving towards Sharepoint 2010 Enterprise I would to ask few things.

i work for a bank so we do have domain environment with multi farming like Exchange, SQLServer are on seperate servers. But I want to learn sharepoint on my own 4GB laptop and offcoruse i cant come up with the exchange so to come up with the similar environment what can i do?

  1. Create AD in windows 2008 server?
  2. Install free mail servers i.e AXIGEN
  3. Create Windows XP client VM

is this the right sequence I should follow?

Now to keep the above mentioned things what advise u guys can give a newbie like me so i can create a good working environment and wouldnt have problems later on if I create the same in my office for UAT and production. Any guidelines for the installation.

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If your laptop has only 4GB of RAM there is no chance you will be able to run SharePoint Enterprise inside a VM. You are trying to put a Grizzly bear on a child's bike. The first thing you need to do is to get a better laptop or to put your VM on a server host in your company. I know it may sound insane to your manager but that's the truth! :)

If this is your first encounter with SharePoint I would recommend downloading SharePoint IW Demo VM that has everything preconfigured so you can focus on SharePoint from start. You need a minimum of 6GB of RAM, and fast disk (think SSD) to run this machine.

1) If you want to create your own machine, I would recommend running in an separate AD. The best option is to connect to a test domain operated by your IT department (e.g. BANKTEST domain) so you do not have to worry about it. Once you have secured proper resources, read Deploy a single server with SQL Server (SharePoint Server 2010) to install SharePoint in your own machine in BANKTEST domain.

2) If Exchange is not available in test domain you can check hMailServer as an alternative.

3) You can use your laptop OS as client, I think XP VM is not needed.

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Agreed - I use a machine with 6GB RAM and an SSD and it runs a SP2010 VM (4GB RAM assigned) adequately. Our work server has 32GB of RAM but that's for shared dev :-). –  Benjamin J Athawes Apr 3 '11 at 21:35
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