So how do you do a dry run without buying a new server? Look around/or build from Frys and find an overgrown desktop that can support HyperV and 64bit and stick at least 8 gigs of ram in there. You don’t need a test lab with boxes all over the place, you do need a nice enough overgrown desktop that can handle virtualization and lots of RAM.
Right now the machine I’m using for my dry run is the server I ultimately plan to migrate to. But before that I have a box that is nothing but a virtual platform with even removable drive drays that I can slide drives and and out and make machines as I need them.
Like many things in tech, you can’t just read, you have to do. Invest in yourself here.