SANS courses consist of instruction and hands-on sessions. The hands-on sessions are designed to allow students to utilize 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. CD/DVDs will be provided that contain all of the tools required for the exercises, therefore the students laptop should have a DVD drive or bring a USB DVD drive.
Students attending this course are required to bring their own laptops that are properly configured. There is not enough time in class to help you install your laptop. Please note that your laptop must be properly installed and configured before you come to class.
NOTE: Do not bring a regular production laptop for this class! When installing software, there is always a chance of breaking something else on the system. Students should assume that all data could be lost.
NOTE: It is critical that students have administrator access to the operating system and all security software installed.
NOTE: Changes will likely need to be made to personal firewalls and other host-based software in order for the labs to work. Any anti-malware software may need to be disabled in order to install some of the tools. Therefore students must also be able to disable any anti-malware software and have the specific anti-malware software administrator passwords prior to coming to class.
RECOMMENDATION: For maximum flexibility, students can run both Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems under virtual machines as long as the hardware on the laptop can support this. The host operating system can be Windows, Linux, or Apple OSX, as long as it supports to most recent version of VMware software (Player, Workstation, or Fusion depending on the OS).
Bring a laptop loaded with Microsoft Windows 7 or later with VMware Player (or similar product) loaded. This should be a default installation of the operating system with all of the options loaded. This system should be up to date on operating system patches prior to coming to class, including all updates for the .NET Framework and Microsoft Windows PowerShell. Either 32-bit or 64-bit systems will work fine for class, but the student should know which version of the operating system they have with them.
For the Linux portion of the exercises, Linux can be run from VMware image that will be provided in class. VMware can be downloaded/purchased from the vmware website. For students bringing a laptop with Microsoft Windows as the host operating system, they may either choose to download the latest version of the free VMware Player software or bring the latest version of VMware Workstation (6.x or later). For students bringing a laptop with Apple OSX as the host operating system, they should download and install the latest version of VMware Fusion instead.
Your laptop should also have a properly configured CD/DVD drive, (optional) 802.11 wireless card that works only under the host operating system, and Ethernet NIC (network interface card). In addition, the system should have a minimum of 1GB of hardware RAM, but the more RAM that is available, the easier it will be for students to complete the hands-on exercises. Be sure to check that the CD-ROM and Ethernet card work properly under the appropriate operating systems. Prior to coming to class, the network interfaces should be tested to prove that they can be configured and that all of the proper drivers have been installed.
If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact email@example.com.