Test Lab Guides

Test Lab Guides


Test Lab Guides (TLGs) allow you to get valuable hands-on experience with new products and technologies using a pre-defined and tested methodology that results in a working configuration. When you use a TLG to create a test lab, instructions define what servers to create, how to configure the operating systems and system services, and how to install and configure any additional products or technologies. A TLG experience enables you to see all of the components and the configuration steps on both the front-end and back-end that are required for a product or technology or for a multi-product or technology solution.

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 and experimentation.

Base Configuration TLG

The Base Configuration TLG (overview video) allows you to create the base configuration test lab, upon 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. This base configuration test lab uses computers running Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 and consists of two subnets: the Corpnet subnet that hosts the Contoso Corporation intranet and the Internet subnet that simultates the Internet.

The following figure show the base configuration test lab 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.

The base configuration TLG is just the beginning of the test lab experience. Other TLGs, test lab extensions, or TLG mini-modules 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.

For a base configuration 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, see Configuring the Corpnet Subnet of the Base Configuration Test Lab for Public Cloud Technologies.

For a base configuration test lab that uses computers running Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, see Test Lab Guide: Windows Server 2012 Base Configuration (overview video). For a list of other TLGs that use this base configuration, see Windows Server 2012 Test Lab Guides.

For a base configuration test lab that uses computers running Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview and Windows 8.1 Preview, see Test Lab Guide: Base Configuration TLG for Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview.

Modular TLGs

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.

Building blocks:

Windows Server 2012:

Windows Server 2012 R2:

Windows Server 2012-based private cloud and Hyper-V stack: 

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:

System Center:

Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) 2010:

Remote access VPN:

SharePoint Server 2010:

SharePoint Server 2013:


Integrated Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint Server:


To create your own modular TLG, see Wiki: Creating and publishing a modular Test Lab Guide. 

Test Lab Extensions

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.

Troubleshooting TLGs

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:

  • Breaking the configuration of the test lab in a specific way
  • Demonstrating the effect on the technology or product functionality
  • Performing root cause analysis of the problem using the troubleshooting tools and recommended troubleshooting techniques
  • Correcting the problem 

The following troubleshooting TLGs are available:

To create your own troubleshooting TLG, see Wiki: Creating and publishing a troubleshooting Test Lab Guide.  

Test Lab Troubleshooting Scenarios

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.

An example of a test lab troubleshooting scenario is the following:

To create your own test lab troubleshooting scenario, see Wiki: Creating and publishing a troubleshooting scenario.

TLG Mini-Modules

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, see Wiki: Creating and publishing a TLG mini-module.

TLG Stacks

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. 

TLG Portal Pages

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:

To create your own TLG portal page in the TechNet Wiki, see Wiki: Creating and publishing a Test Lab Guide portal page. 

Additional Resources

For the answers to frequently asked questions about TLGs, see the TLG FAQ.

For the latest information about TLGs, see the Microsoft TLG blog.

Hyper-V Articles in the TechNet Wiki for TLGs

TLGs Under Development

This section contains a list of TLGs that are under active development. You should refer to this section before creating your own TLG to make sure that you are not duplicating efforts. If you find that you want to create a TLG that covers the same subject matter as one under development, we encourage you to collaborate with the TLG author and combine your efforts. You can write to Test Lab Guides Feedback (tlgfb@microsoft.com) and we will connect you with the Microsoft TLG author so that you can work together.

  • Test Lab Guide: Demonstrating FIM 2010 R2 ECMA2 with SQL Azure
  • Test Lab Guide: Installing Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 Synchronization Service
  • Test Lab Guide: Demonstrating WSUS 3 SP2 Installation and Configuration
  • Test Lab Guide: Deploying LDAP over SSL    
  • Test Lab Guide: Converting a Single-Tier PKI CA Hierarchy to a Two-Tier PKI Hierarchy        
  • Test Lab Guide: Windows Rights Management Services
  • Test Lab Guide: Active Directory Rights Management Services
  • Test Lab Extension: Integrating Exchange with ADRMS
  • Test Lab Extension: Integrating SharePoint with ADRMS.
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  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 19. Comment: Added entry for the DCA Test Lab Guide

  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 18. Comment: Add link to FIM CM 2010 TLG

  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 17. Comment: Added the UAG TLG portal page and link

  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 16. Comment: Added the Force Tunneling Test Lab Guide

  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 15. Comment: Added the UAG SP1 RC DA with NAP TLG entry

  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 13. Comment: Added link to UAG SP1 RC DA Remote Management TLG

  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 12. Comment: Added the Fabrikam Base Configuration Test Lab Guide

  • Tom Shinder [MSFT] edited Revision 11. Comment: Added new TLG for UAG SP1 RC DirectAccess

  • Joe Davies_MSFT edited Revision 10. Comment: link to new test lab troubleshooting scenario

  • Joe Davies_MSFT edited Revision 9. Comment: editing, misc

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  • Joe Davies edited Revision 155. Comment: Added link to integrated TLG overview video

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