Microsoft Test Lab Guides (TLGs) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  Where is the list of all the available TLGs?
 

See the Test Lab Guides article in the TechNet Wiki.

 
  Are the TLGs designed to reflect deployment or security best practices?
 

No. To minimize the number of steps and computers needed to demonstrate the desired functionality, TLGs typically do not reflect deployment or security best practices, nor are they designed to be easily adapted to production deployments.

Feel free to experiment with deployment or security best practices after the initial test lab configuration is complete. Additional modular TLGs or test lab extensions can also provide instructions for configuring a test lab for best practices.

For deployment and security best practices, see the product documentation for the product or technology being demonstrated.

 
  Are virtual hard disk (VHD) files available for the base configuration test lab or the configurations of modular test labs?
 

No. However, a VHD of the trial version of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition can be found here.

 
  Where can I find trial versions of Windows and other products?
 

For an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition in download and VHD form, see Windows Server 2008 R2 Evaluation Free 180-Day Trial.

For an evaluation copy of Windows 7 Enterprise in download form, see Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial.

For other products, go to Microsoft.com and search on "product name trial".

Note that the preferred method for deploying operating systems in the test lab is to use copies that can be activated. This is especially true for the Base Configuration, since you want to be able to use and reuse the Base Configuration for multiple TLG scenarios. Your organization may already have licenses available that you can assign to Base Configuration computers, or you may wish to use the operating system .iso files made available to you through an MSDN or TechNet subscription.

 
  How are Microsoft TLGs different from TechNet Virtual Labs?
 

TechNet Virtual Labs are a set of online Web experiences that allow you to test drive, in 90-minute blocks of time, new and improved features and functionality in Microsoft products. TechNet Virtual Labs can be very helpful when you want to quickly see the functionality of a product or feature early in the evaluation phase. However, TechNet Virtual Labs are not a long-lived experience that you can experiment with and customize for your own purposes. Additionally, TechNet Virtual Labs do not take you through the setup of the infrastructure requirements of the feature or product.

By making you perform the actual configuration, Microsoft TLGs are very helpful in the evaluation phase when you want to get your hands on the product to understand the infrastructure requirements and product setup in detail. You are left with a working test lab configuration with which you can experiment and customize to match your own configuration, to learn troubleshooting tools and techniques (with corresponding troubleshooting TLGs), or to perform additional configuration (with corresponding test lab extensions).

 
  How do I get my computers in the base configuration test lab on the Internet temporarily to download updates?
 

For APP1 and EDGE1:

  1. Connect the network adapter to a network that is connected to the Internet. For example, for Hyper-V, reconfigure the Network Adapter in the settings of the virtual machine so that it is connected to the External Network.

  2. Obtain properties of the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) protocol on the network adapter that is connected to the Internet.

  3. Note the static IP address and DNS server configuration (you will need this information so that you can restore these settings when you return the machine to its original network location).

  4. Configure the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) protocol to obtain an IP address and DNS server automatically. This assumes that the "live" network is DHCP enabled. If not, then configure the virtual machine with valid IP address, default gateway, and DNS settings that will enable it access to the Internet.

  5. Install updates.

  6. Reconfigure the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) protocol for the static IP address and DNS server configuration as noted in step 3.

  7. Reconnect the network adapter to the appropriate subnet in the test lab.

For DC1 and INET1:

  1. Use the Services snap-in to stop the DHCP Server service. Alternately, issue the sc stop dhcpserver command at an administrator-level command prompt. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Placing DC1 or INET1 on your production network with the DHCP Server Service running can disrupt communications for other computers on your production network.

  2. Connect the network adapter to a network that is connected to the Internet.

  3. Obtain properties of the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) protocol on the network adapter that is connected to the Internet.

  4. Note the static IP address and DNS server configuration (you will need this information so that you can restore these settings when you return the machine to its original network location).

  5. Configure the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) protocol to obtain an IP address and DNS server automatically. This assumes that the "live" network is DHCP enabled. If not, then configure the virtual machine with valid IP address, default gateway, and DNS settings that will enable it access to the Internet.

  6. Install updates.

  7. Reconfigure the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) protocol for the static IP address and DNS server configuration as noted in step 4.

  8. Reconnect the network adapter to the appropriate subnet in the test lab.

  9. Use the Services snap-in to start the DHCP Server service. Alternately, issue the sc start dhcpserver command at an administrator-level command prompt.

  10. Open the DNS server console and confirm that the temporary IP address used to connect DC1 or INET1 to the Internet is not registered. If so, delete the registration. If the temporary IP address was registered in DNS, then restart DC1 or INET1. After the restart, restart all other machines that are members of the CONTOSO domain in the test lab.

For CLIENT1, connect the network adapter to a network that is connected to the Internet, install updates, and then connect it to the appropriate subnet in the base configuration test lab.

Note that you can alternately configure the computers of the Corpnet subnet using the Configuring the Corpnet Subnet of the Base Configuration Test Lab for Public Cloud Technologies topic, which allows ongoing access to the Internet for updates.

 
  How can I configure the base configuration test lab to demonstrate public cloud technologies?
 

An alternate configuration of the base configuration is described in Configuring the Corpnet Subnet of the Base Configuration Test Lab for Public Cloud Technologies. In this alternate configuration, the computers of the Corpnet subnet are attached to your production network but are logically isolated from your intranet domain. By being attached to your production network, the Corpnet subnet computers have ongoing access to Internet resources, including public cloud technologies such as Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Azure.

 
  How do I use Hyper-V to host the computers of a test lab?
 

You can use Hyper-V to host all of the computers of a test lab, isolate them from your production network, temporarily connect them to a network connected to the Internet to install updates or components, and take snapshots of interim configurations that you can restore for further experimentation. For more information, see TLG Virtualization Notes and Tom Shinder's video on creating snapshots.

 
  Do I have to use Hyper-V as my server virtualization platform to use TLGs?
 

No. Microsoft TLGs are designed so that you can configure the test labs in either a physical or virtual environment. However, we realize that most people will use a virtual environment to perform the test labs and we've attempted to make them virtualization technology independent. There may be times when we include information that will help enable a certain scenario within a Hyper-V environment or provide Hyper-V specific instructions. This should not be interpreted as support for only Hyper-V.

 
  How can I extend Microsoft TLGs and share it with the community?
 

You can extend Microsoft TLGs in the following ways:

  • Modular TLGs in the TechNet Wiki

    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.

    Here is an example. Here is the template. Here is more information.

  • Test lab Extensions in the TechNet Wiki

    A test lab extension article 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.

    The test lab extension article includes instructions to configure and test the additional functionality, and then manually restore the test lab to its original state. A test lab extension article 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.

    Here is an example. Here is the template. Here is more information.

  • Troubleshooting TLGs in the TechNet Wiki

    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:

    1. Breaking the configuration of the test lab in a specific way

    2. Demonstrating the effect on the technology or product functionality

    3. Performing root cause analysis of the problem using the troubleshooting tools and recommended troubleshooting techniques

    4. Correcting the problem

    Here is the template. Here is more information.

  • Test Lab Troubleshooting Scenarios in the TechNet Wiki

    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.

    Here is an example. Here is the template. Here is more information.

  • Share Your Experiences article in the TechNet Wiki

    If you have created a test lab configuration and would like to share your experiences, workarounds, or best practices with others, create or edit a Share your Experiences article.

    Here is an example. Here is more information.

 

Community Resources

Test Lab Guides blog
 

Test Lab Guides Lead the Way to Solution Mastery blog post

 

See Also