A challenge in creating useful TLGs is to enable their reusability and extensibility. Because creating a test lab can represent a significant investment of time and resources, your ability to reuse and extend the work required to create test labs is important.
An ideal test lab environment would enable you to create a basic lab configuration, save that configuration, and then build out multiple test lab scenarios in the future by starting with the base configuration.
For a test lab based on physical computers, you can image the drives for future test labs. For a test lab based on virtual machines, you can create snapshots for future test labs. This allows you to easily return to a desired configuration for further learning
The base configuration is the standard starting point from which you can build test labs based on other TLGs from Microsoft, test lab extensions in the TechNet Wiki, or a test lab of your own design that can include Microsoft or non-Microsoft products. The
base configuration is just the beginning of the test lab experience. Other TLG content can focus on Microsoft products or platform technologies, but all of them use the Base Configuration TLG as a starting point.
After configuring the computers of the base configuration test lab, make sure that you perform a disk image on each computer if you are using physical computers, or perform virtual machine snapshots if you are using virtual machines.
There are three different variants to the base configuration, depending on your needs.
The following figure shows the base configuration test lab in the isolated subnets configuration with the Corpnet (required and consisting of the DC1, APP1, and CLIENT1 computers) and Internet (optional and consisting of the EDGE1 and INET1 computers) subnets.
When both the Corpnet and Internet subnets are configured, the CLIENT1 computer can be moved between the subnets to show intranet and Internet behaviors and functionality.
As its name suggests, the isolated subnets configuration is intended for configuration on subnets that are isolated from your organization network and the real Internet. With this configuration, you have ultimate control over the computers and their connections.
Choose from the following set of isolated subnets base configurations:
The public cloud base configuration is a test lab that consists of just the Corpnet subnet and is connected to your production network, allowing scalability and ongoing access to the Internet for public cloud technologies such as Office 365 and Microsoft
Azure. Here is the configuration:
Choose from the following set of public cloud base configurations:
The Azure base configuration is a test lab that consists of just the Corpnet subnet and is hosted within a cloud-only Azure Virtual Network named TestLab. This new configuration allows you to build out test labs in Azure infrastructure services as part of
your current or future plans to move parts of your IT infrastructure to the public cloud. Here is the configuration:
For instructions on setting up the Azure base configuration, see
Base Configuration in Azure (overview video).
For the list of Azure TLGs, see
Azure Test Lab.
A modular TLG describes how to set up and demonstrate a technology, product, or solution for either the Base Configuration test lab or a test lab based on another modular TLG.
The following modular TLGs are available, sorted by purpose, product, or technology.
Windows Server 2012:
Windows Server 2012 R2:
Windows Server 2012-based private cloud and Hyper-V stack (community authored):
DirectAccess in Windows Server 2008 R2:
DirectAccess in Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010:
Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 R2:
Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010:
Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) 2010:
Remote access VPN:
SharePoint Server 2010:
SharePoint Server 2013:
Lync Server 2013:
Integrated Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint Server:
To create your own modular TLG, see Wiki:
Creating and publishing a modular Test Lab Guide.
A test lab extension describes how to configure additional functionality or advanced or uncommon configurations based on a working test lab. A test lab extension extends a modular TLG but typically does not create a new test lab environment that
other TLGs can build on.
A test lab extension includes instructions to configure and test the additional functionality, and then manually restore the test lab to its original state. A test lab extension also includes virtualization advice so that you can create snapshots to store
the modified test lab configuration and easily restore the original working test lab configuration.
Examples of test lab extensions are the following:
To create your own test lab extension, see Wiki:
Creating and publishing a test lab extension.
A troubleshooting TLG describes the troubleshooting tools and how they appear in a working test lab for a technology, product, or multi-technology and product solution. The working test lab is typically based on a modular TLG.
A troubleshooting TLG also takes you through a set of troubleshooting scenarios. Each troubleshooting scenario steps you through the following:
The following troubleshooting TLGs are available:
To create your own troubleshooting TLG, see Wiki:
Creating and publishing a troubleshooting Test Lab Guide.
A test lab troubleshooting scenario provides an additional scenario to demonstrate the results of a misconfiguration or other type of common problem and guide the reader through the root cause determination and correction. Test lab troubleshooting
scenarios extend a troubleshooting TLG.
To create your own test lab troubleshooting scenario, see Wiki:
Creating and publishing a troubleshooting scenario.
A TLG mini-module just includes the essential configuration steps to get an existing and working test lab to a new working configuration, skipping the demonstration steps. In contrast, a modular TLG is typically designed to demonstrate key functionality.
However, in some cases you already have the expertise and just want to get to a new working test lab environment as quickly as possible. Another use for TLG mini-modules are building block TLGs, where you just want to install a product or software component
and leave the demonstration of functionality to other modular TLGs.
Examples of TLG mini-modules are the following:
To create your own TLG mini-module,
Creating and publishing a TLG mini-module.
A TLG stack is a set of related or dependent modular TLGs, mini-modules, test lab extensions, troubleshooting TLGs, and test lab troubleshooting scenarios that create test lab environments to demonstrate a technology, product, or solution. For example,
the following figure shows the IPv6 TLG stack:
For a list of TLG stacks, see TLGs: Get your stack on! and the following section on TLG portal pages.
To create your own TLG stack, see Wiki:
Creating a Test Lab Guide stack diagram.
A TLG portal page is a TechNet Wiki article that provides links to all of the resources for the test lab of a specific technology or product and includes test lab configuration and TLG stack diagrams.
The following TLG portal pages are available:
For the answers to frequently asked questions about TLGs, see the
For the latest information about TLGs, see the
Microsoft TLG blog.
This isn't linked under the TechNet Articles page. It's confusing if you click the TechNet Articles bread crumb, you won't be able to find your way back without searching.
Also, is there any chance that user submitted Modular TLGs will be permitted?
To my knowledge, the list on the TechNet Articles page are only for spotlighted products and their articles and should not contain a link to all possible TechNet Wiki articles.
We are working on Wiki templates for anybody to create their own modular TLG. Stay tuned.
FYI: The Wiki template for creating your own modular TLG is now available at social.technet.microsoft.com/.../wiki-modular-test-lab-guide-template.aspx.
Done the Base Config testlab, only . . .
When i want to start the IIS Manager to create a web-based CRL, i don't have the permisson to do this (as User1 as described)
To simplify permissions issues, the User1 account has domain administrator-level permissions. Can you confirm that this is the case in your base configuration test lab? Thanks
This was great. I got stuck for awhile though because I needed to modify the AD user account for "user1." I had to allow Dial In \ Allow Access on the Dial-in tab of the user account properties.
These are really great. I'm surprised the idea hasn't come around sooner. I'm having a blast building these and learning a lot while doing it. I've probably got snapshots of 70% of the labs already and can't wait to see more.
Great job! Keep up the good work.
Not to detract from the excellent work, but I do think we're missing one vital point; Should we not be looking at "best practice" when using the guides? So, for example, not using the administrator account/domain admin permissions but delegating those permissions out correctly.
Hi Jeff - The issue of best pracices has come up before and we've thought about it and will continue to consider the implications. The primary goal of the TLGs is to show the components of the solution on the front and back end so that you can quickly see all the moving parts without having to read 1000 pages of planning and deployment guides. Best practices are problematic in the test lab because it would make the guides a lot more complex and in many cases, we couldn't even do a best practices environment in a test lab without adding more virtual machines. However, there are some things that we can do to improve in this area and we appreciate you bring this issue up. Thanks! --Tom.
Is there likely to be a Sharepoint article soon? Something we are thinking about once I have rolled out Exchange 2010.