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Testing and Conducting the Pilot

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

In the early phases of the project, you test the components of your Windows Server 2003 implementation to validate your design, as described in the functional specification. Later, you will test the interoperability of components to ensure that all of the elements of the implementation work together, and you will ensure that all the applications used in your organization are compatible with Windows Server 2003.

After verifying your Windows Server 2003 implementation in your test lab, conduct at least one pilot deployment before deploying the operating system into your production environment. In a pilot, you deploy a limited number of computers in a controlled environment, evaluate the results, and fix problems. Deploy successive pilots until you determine that Windows Server 2003 is ready for full deployment.

In addition to testing your implementation of Windows Server 2003, conducting a pilot provides an opportunity to test your deployment plan and the deployment processes. It helps you to determine how much time is required to install Windows Server 2003, and the personnel and tools needed to do so. It also provides an opportunity to train support staff and to gauge user reaction to the new operating system, so that you can anticipate support needs.

After your pilot is stable, meet with management to assess the functionality of the new Windows Server 2003 infrastructure and to receive approval to continue with deployment.

For more information about testing your Windows Server 2003 deployment plan, see "Designing a Test Environment" in this book. For more information about conducting a pilot, see "Designing a Pilot Project" in this book. For more information about testing the compatibility of your applications with Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003, see "Planning and Testing for Application Deployment" in this book.

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