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Testing Your Configuration Management Design

Letzte Aktualisierung: März 2003

Betrifft: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Before deploying your management solutions to a wide base, fully test your design in a test lab environment. Minimally, your test environment consists of at least two domain controllers, a member server, two or more workstations, and possibly a mobile computer connected by means of a slow link. If you are testing software installation through Group Policy, include one or more servers set up as software distribution points. By setting up a test-to-production environment deployment process and using features of the Group Policy Management Console, you can ensure that you provide a reliable and consistent configuration management solution.

Document the testing network as well as all steps required to set it up. If new hardware, such as a new server, is being added to your organization’s network, use this same hardware in your test deployment if possible.

To minimize variables and to ensure that testing does not interfere with your organization’s network services, keep the testing network on its own, isolated LAN.


  • If there is a network server that you cannot simulate, such as a database service, you might need to temporarily connect the testing network to the organization’s network to verify that the deployment interacts with this service as expected. Use this approach only if you have no other options available for verifying the interaction of the deployment with the service.

After completing tests in a controlled environment, select a group of users to pilot your configuration. Keep the users to a manageable number. A pilot can expose unexpected problems on a small scale so that you can resolve them before deploying on a large scale. Verify that the deployed technology is operating as expected. If you perform an iterated deployment, deploy and test it in phases, and then emphasize the testing of the final configuration.

You can perform two types of testing:

  • Proof of concept testing

  • Pilot testing

When conducting such tests, be prepared to iterate if necessary. Depending on the scope of any design updates, you might want to repeat the proof of concept or pilot stage before proceeding further.


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