Important! Bring your own system configured according to these instructions!
A properly configured system is required to fully participate in this course. If you do not carefully read and follow these instructions, you will likely leave the class unsatisfied because you will not be able to participate in hands-on exercises that are essential to this course. Therefore, we strongly urge you to arrive with a system meeting all the requirements specified for the course.
CRITICAL NOTE: Apple systems using ARM processors (M1, M2, etc.) cannot perform the necessary virtualization functionality and therefore cannot in any way be used for this course.
It is imperative that you back-up your system before class and it is also strongly advised that you do not bring a system storing any sensitive data.
System Hardware Requirements
- CPU: Your system's processor must be a 64-bit Intel i5 or i7 2.0 GHz processor or higher. Your CPU and OS must support a 64-bit quest virtual machine.
- Windows users can use this article to learn more about their CPU and OS capabilities.
- Apple users should validate the OS version is at least 11.6+
- BIOS: Intel's VT (VT-x) hardware virtualization technology should be enabled in your system's BIOS or UEFI settings. You must be able to access your system's BIOS throughout the class. If your BIOS is password-protected, you must have the password.
- USB: If taking the course in-person, at least one available USB 3.0 Type-A port is required for copying large data files from the USB 3.0 drives we provide in class. The USB port must not be locked in hardware or software. Some newer laptops may have only the smaller Type-C ports. In this case, you will need to bring a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter.
- RAM: 8 GB RAM is required for the best experience. To verify on Windows 10, press Windows key + "I" to open Settings, then click "System", then "About." Your RAM information will be toward the bottom of the page. To verify on a Mac, click the Apple logo at the top left-hand corner of your display and then click "About this Mac."
- Hard Drive Free Space: 60 GB of FREE space on the hard drive is critical to hose the VMs and additional files we distribute. SSD drives are also highly recommended, as they allow virtual machines to run much faster than mechanical hard drives.
- Operating System: Latest version of Windows 10, macOS 11.6.x or later, or Linux that also can install and run VMware virtualization products described below.
Additional Hardware Requirements
The requirements below are in addition to baseline requirements provided above. Prior to the start of class, you must install virtualization software and meet additional hardware and software requirements as described below. If you do not carefully read and follow these instructions, you will leave the class unsatisfied because you will not be able to participate in hands-on exercises that are essential to this course.
- Network, Wireless Connection: A wireless 802.11 B, G, N or AC network adapter is required. This can be the internal wireless adapter in your system or an external USB wireless adapter. A wireless adapter allows you to connect to the network without any cables. If you can surf the Internet on your system without plugging in a network cable, you have wireless.
Additional Software Requirements
- VMWare Workstation Pro 15.5.X, VMWare Player 15.5.X or Fusion 11.5+ is mandatory. It should not be installed on a system you are planning to use for this class. If you do not own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation or Fusion, you can download a free 30-day trial copy from VMware. VMware will send you a time-limited serial number if you register for the trial online.
- Credential Guard: If your host computer is running Windows, Credential Guard may interfere with the ability to run VMs. It is important that you start up VMware prior to class and confirm that virtual machines can run. It is required that Credential Guard is turned off prior to coming to class.
Your course media will now be delivered via download. The media files for class can be large, some in the 40 - 50 GB range. You need to allow plenty of time for the download to complete. Internet connections and speed vary greatly and are dependent on many different factors. Therefore, it is not possible to give an estimate of the length of time it will take to download your materials. Please start your course media downloads as you get the link. You will need your course media immediately on the first day of class. Waiting until the night before the class starts to begin your download has a high probability of failure.
SANS has begun providing printed materials in PDF form. Additionally, certain classes are using an electronic workbook in addition to the PDFs. The number of classes using eWorkbooks will grow quickly. In this new environment, we have found that a second monitor and/or a tablet device can be useful by keeping the class materials visible while the instructor is presenting or while you are working on lab exercises.
If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.