Important! Bring your own system configured according to these instructions!
We ask that you do four things to prepare prior to class start. This early preparation will allow you to get the most out of your training. You must bring a properly configured system to fully participate in this course. If you do not carefully read and follow the instructions below, 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 below for the course. This section details the required system hardware and software configuration for your class. You can also watch a series of short videos on these topics at https://sansurl.com/sans-setup-videos.
SANS courses consist of instruction and hands-on sessions. The hands-on sessions are designed to allow students to practice the knowledge gained throughout the course in an instructor-led environment. Students will have the opportunity to install, configure, and use the tools and techniques that they have learned.
Requirement #1: Bring a Properly Configured Laptop to Class
Students attending this course are required to bring a laptop computer in order to complete the exercises in class. Please make sure you bring a computer that meets the Requirements 2 - 4 below, and that it is properly configured. There will not be enough time in class to help you install your computer, so it must be properly installed and configured before you come to class so you can get the most from the class. Please do not bring a regular production computer for this class! When installing software, there is always a chance of breaking something else on the system. Students should assume the worst and that all data could be lost.
Requirement #2: Laptop Hardware Requirements
In order to complete the in-class activities, please ensure the laptop that you bring to class is configured with at least the following hardware:
- 8 GB of hardware memory
- 64-bit processor
- 64 GB free disk space (at least)
- Wireless (802.11) network adapter
- USB ports (not restricted)
- BIOS / Processor support for virtualization*
*Please verify that virtualization is supported on your laptop prior to coming to class. More information on how to do so can be found at https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003944.
Prior to coming to class, please ensure that the network interfaces are tested to prove that they can be configured and that all of the proper drivers have been installed.
Requirement #3: Laptop Operating System Requirements
In order to complete the in class activities, please ensure that the laptop that you bring to class is configured with at least the following operating system or configurations:
- Latest version of Windows 10, macOS 10.15.x or later, or Linux that also can install and run VMware virtualization products described below.
- Students must be local administrator of this host operating system
- Students must know all BIOS or other passwords used on the system
- No Group Policy Objects (GPOs) or other similar operating system restrictions should be in place; ideally this laptop should not be a member of any domain prior to class.
Students may bring Apple Mac OSX machines, but all lab activities assume that the host operating system is Microsoft Windows based. Students will need to be confident reconfiguring and administering their own system if they bring a laptop running any operating system other than Microsoft Windows noted above.
Requirement #4: Laptop Software Requirements
In order to complete the in-class activities, please ensure that the laptop that you bring to class is configured with at least the following software or configurations:
- Microsoft Office 2010 (or later) installed and licensed on the laptop
- Download and install either VMware Workstation Player 16.1.1 or Fusion 12 or higher versions before class. If you do not own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation Player 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 on its website.
- Other virtualization software, such as VirtualBox and Hyper-V, are not appropriate because of compatibility and troubleshooting problems you might encounter during class.
- VMware Workstation Pro and VMware Player on Windows 10 is not compatible with Windows 10 Credential Guard and Device Guard technologies. Please disable these capabilities for the duration of the class, if they're enabled on your system, by following instructions in this section.
Our hope is that by following these simple instructions above, you will be able to make the most of your classroom experience.
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 soon 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. 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.