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Question Which one of the following will support Windows Server and Azure Active Directory? Does Microsoft still sell WS 2012 and 2016, or only 2019?

Amol S.

Senior member
Mar 14, 2015
I graduated with a masters degree in Cyber Security, and have no work or internship experience, and no certifications like CCNA. All the job postings in the cyber secruity field and even Level 1 IT help desk positions is asking for experience with Azure Active Directory and Windows Server. Windows Server experience I know is bit diferent from Windows 10 pro, but I don't know much at all about Azure Active Directory. Thus I am trying to learn Azure Active Driectory, via Microsoft learn and to pass the AZ-900 and AZ-104 Exams and get their related certifcations. Does Microsoft still sell Windows Server 2012 and 2016, or they only sell 2019? Which one of the following desktops will support Windows Server and Azure Active Directory? My parents are willing to pay.

Dell Precision 5820 Tower Workstation
  • Intel Xeon W-2102
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstation (up to 4 Cores) Multi - English
  • Radeon Pro WX 2100, 2GB, DP, 2 mDP (5820T)
  • 8GB 1x8GB DDR4 2666MHz RDIMM ECC Memory
  • 2.5" 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
Dell OptiPlex 3070 Micro
  • Intel® Core™ i3-9100T (4 Cores/6MB/4T/3.1GHz to 3.7GHz/35W)
  • Windows 10 Pro 64bit English, French, Spanish
  • 8GB 1X8GB 2666MHz DDR4 Memory
  • 2.5" 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Disk Drive
  • Ports & Slots
Lenovo ThinkCentre M720 Tiny (with the following customization options)
  • Intel® Pentium® Gold G5400T Processor (3.10 GHz, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 4 MB Cache)
  • Windows 10 Home 64
  • 8GB (4GB + 4GB) DDR4 2666MHz
  • 500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm, 2.5", SATA3
  • Integrated Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • Optional HDMI port
Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 (AMD)
Part Number: 90MV0009US
  • Processor
    AMD® Ryzen™ 3 3250U Processor (2.60 GHz, up to 3.50 GHz Max Boost, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 4 MB Cache)
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Home 64
  • Memory
    4 GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Hard Drive
    1 TB 7200 RPM
  • Optical Drive
Or should I just use virtual box or VM Ware Player(free version), on my Lenovo P52 ThinkPad?
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Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
You also want to learn Windows Server AD. Not just Azure AD.

Be noted that Windows Home can't join an AD. Only Pro & up.

Sign up free Azure AD trial. (No personal experience) and watch tutorial on youtube.

8GB is a joke if you want to create a networking lab environment.

And please don't buy machines with CPU that's under 35W and less than 4 cores 8 threads. That's way under power.

Whatever machine you choose make sure it's got at least 32GB (64GB or more even better, you can buy an used server for cheap), CPU with Intel vx-d or AMD-V support. and 1TB+ SSD/NVMe drive (you night need NMVe PCIe adapter). Slow HDD will kill you when you have several VMs running.
VMWare Player or VirtualBox is OK for beginner, but you really want VMware Pro Workstation, which has a lot more features. You can also use Hyper-V, which is built-in in Windows 10 Pro and up.

You can download trial server/Windows 10 ISO and create VMs with VMWare.

All 3 VM techs got a lot of tutorials on youtube.
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