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Verifying the Deployment in a Pilot Program

Updated: May 3, 2010

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

In the lab environment, you verify that the deployment process works outside of your production environment on accounts and resources that approximate your production environment. If your environment runs Windows 2000 Active Directory, use your existing pilot program to verify your Windows Server 2003 deployment. In the pilot deployment program, identify a controlled subset of the accounts (users, groups, and services) and resources that exist in the production environment. Perform the deployment process on the identified accounts and resources.

The goals of the pilot program include:

  • Extend testing into a subset of the production environment.

  • Provide a test environment for other design and deployment groups, such as Exchange 2000 deployment.

  • Verify process and procedures for network and operating system infrastructure updates.

  • Verify proper operation of application updates.

  • Evaluate the impact of monitoring solutions on the network infrastructure and the servers that are being monitored.

  • Discover any potential problems in the deployment process that are caused by complexities that could not be modeled in the lab environment.

  • Revise the deployment process to correct any problems that you discovered before the production deployment.

In your pilot deployment, begin with users who are involved in the deployment project, and then include users who are representative of your user population.

To create a pilot deployment program in your environment

  1. Create forest_root_domain (where forest_root_domain is the name of an empty Active Directory forest root domain that was created by appending "-test" to the same name as the production forest root domain).

  2. Create regional_domain (where regional_domain is the regional domain name in the pilot program) by appending "-test" to a production regional domain.

  3. Establish the appropriate trust relationships between regional_domain and winnt_domain (where winnt_domain is a Windows NT 4.0 account or resource domain).

  4. Migrate selected accounts and resources from winnt_domain to regional_domain.

  5. Verify that users and administrators can minimally perform the same tasks that they performed before the migration (such as resource access, account administration, and resource administration).


  • When you migrate production users to the pilot, leave the user accounts enabled in the production and the pilot environments. By leaving the user accounts enabled in the production environment, you provide a fallback plan if any problems occur in the pilot environment.

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