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What Are Test Environment Best Practices RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'd like to build a test environment with Windows Server 2008 - AD & DNS. We already have a Server 2003 AD production environment but would like to know how to build a test environment without affecting anything with our production environment.

    Can anyone point me towards the right direction?

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 3:14 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    There is often mixed opinions on this subject. 

    To truly test certain changes to a network and certain scenarios, using an exact copy of your production Active Directory gives the best result... the closest you can get to the real environment.  However... it is also the most risky way of doing it.  If there is any way the servers could end up on the same network as your production environment, you can risk damage to your live environment.  Also, logging in to the wrong console can also be easily done... and testing a deletion... on the wrong server... bad result.

    Personally, I tend to suggest and use a different domain name, different IP subnet (it possible).  For example, if my live environment is companyname.local, I go for something like companyname.test.  It just helps to ensure that it is straight forward to identify which environment you are using. 

    I have seen some people consider adding a subdomain to their live environment, so in the companyname.local domain, they consider testing.companyname.local  Although this is therefore a seperate domain, it is still directly linked to the domain that serves the live envionment.  It would be easy to damage the live environment. 

    Hope this helps.  As I said, there is often mixed opinions on this.  It's good practice to closely mirror your live environment so that you can carry out fair/true testing, but it is also good practice to ensure the two environments are easily identifiable and seperate enough to not damage each other. 

    I'd go for... New domain companyname.test, different IP subnet.  Setup a server in a seperate subnet, dcpromo it and create new domain/new forest.  Setup associated DNS for the new domain. 

    Dan

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:01 PM
  • Hello,

    see here about creating a test domain:

    http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2005/11/19/105.aspx

    http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2005/11/19/107.aspx

    http://www.pbbergs.com/windows/articles/TestDomain.html


    Best regards Meinolf Weber Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Sunday, May 30, 2010 6:30 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    There is often mixed opinions on this subject. 

    To truly test certain changes to a network and certain scenarios, using an exact copy of your production Active Directory gives the best result... the closest you can get to the real environment.  However... it is also the most risky way of doing it.  If there is any way the servers could end up on the same network as your production environment, you can risk damage to your live environment.  Also, logging in to the wrong console can also be easily done... and testing a deletion... on the wrong server... bad result.

    Personally, I tend to suggest and use a different domain name, different IP subnet (it possible).  For example, if my live environment is companyname.local, I go for something like companyname.test.  It just helps to ensure that it is straight forward to identify which environment you are using. 

    I have seen some people consider adding a subdomain to their live environment, so in the companyname.local domain, they consider testing.companyname.local  Although this is therefore a seperate domain, it is still directly linked to the domain that serves the live envionment.  It would be easy to damage the live environment. 

    Hope this helps.  As I said, there is often mixed opinions on this.  It's good practice to closely mirror your live environment so that you can carry out fair/true testing, but it is also good practice to ensure the two environments are easily identifiable and seperate enough to not damage each other. 

    I'd go for... New domain companyname.test, different IP subnet.  Setup a server in a seperate subnet, dcpromo it and create new domain/new forest.  Setup associated DNS for the new domain. 

    Dan

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:01 PM
  • Hello,

    see here about creating a test domain:

    http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2005/11/19/105.aspx

    http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2005/11/19/107.aspx

    http://www.pbbergs.com/windows/articles/TestDomain.html


    Best regards Meinolf Weber Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Sunday, May 30, 2010 6:30 PM