As with any building, software, device, or other type of technical and non-technical projects, you need to start with a proper planning before proceeding to build a lab. This order is necessary to get the most benefits from your lab environment and at the same time to stay safe from any kinds of unwanted attacks. Preliminary planning also helps to avoid an unnecessary repetition of some installation and configuration tasks that can suddenly arise during the implementation phase if you realize that something is missing or some significant changes should be done in an almost finished lab environment.
In this chapter, we will guide you through the whole planning phase from understanding what do you need a lab for to choosing the lab components and topology based on your own requirements. To reach this goal, we will cover the following topics in this chapter:
Understanding what tasks your lab should fulfill
Planning the network topology