Building a Test

Your test environment should be a long-term investment in the overall deployment process Retain the test environment after the deployment to assist in future deployment projects. To create the test environment, you must determine how to model the production environment in the test environment and configure the test environment to support automated testing of the mitigation strategies

Microsoft recommends that you establish a dedicated and isolated lab environment for use in developing and testing the application compatibility mitigation . The lab should mirror your production environment as closely as possible . In some cases, you might find that it is better to open up the test network to existing production services, instead of replicating your production environment in detail. For example, you might want to permit your Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) packets to pass through routers into the test network. Some operations can be safely conducted in the production environment, such as the application inventory collection process. At a minimum, your lab environment should include:

■ DHCP services

■ Domain Name System (DNS) services

■ SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2005 Express

■ Lab test user accounts, with both normal user and administrative privileges

■ Network hardware to provide Internet access (for downloading updates, files, and so on)

■ Test computers that accurately reflect production computers in both software and hardware configuration

■ A software library representing all the applications to be tested

■ Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V

■ Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) services (optional)

In most instances, you must test the mitigation strategies more than once and must be able to revert reliably to a previous test state . Automating your testing process enables you to ensure reproducibility and consistency in your testing process. Using test automation tools enables you to run your test cases in a standardized, reproducible manner. Using disk-imaging software for physical images of the servers and using software virtualization features for reversing changes to virtualized hard disks enables you to restore your test environment back to a previous state

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