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Testing Your DHCP Solution

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

The ideal environment for validating a deployment plan is a test laboratory that is constructed to simulate your production environment. If you do not have a DHCP infrastructure in place, create a new DHCP infrastructure in the pilot lab. If you already have a DHCP infrastructure in place, recreate your existing infrastructure in the pilot lab and then test your migration and your updated solution.

Use the following guidelines when testing your DHCP solution in the pilot lab:

  • Ensure that your test servers come from the same vendor and are configured in the same way as the servers that exist in your production environment. Represent all client computers that use DHCP in your organization in your pilot lab.

  • Duplicate the network configuration of your organization in the pilot lab. If the network uses both Ethernet and Token Ring, you need to include both configurations in the test lab. If possible, set up a separate Windows Server 2003 domain for the lab so that you can monitor the performance of the domain controllers without interference from other network activity. If you are planning to deploy DHCP on a WAN, include routers in your lab design and use a link simulator to simulate network latency.

  • Deploy a typical set of applications that run together in your production environment on the test server. This allows you to identify any interoperability issues that might arise when users run different applications simultaneously.

  • Test your DHCP solution in burst traffic conditions. Make sure that all services on your servers continue to be available during burst traffic conditions, such as following a large-scale power outage, when many clients might restart simultaneously.

For more information about testing your design, see "Designing a Test Environment" in Planning, Testing, and Piloting Deployment Projects of this kit.

Testing your DHCP solution in a pilot lab allows you to identify problems with your infrastructure, system configuration, or software. After you have tested your configuration thoroughly in a pilot lab, you can roll out your DHCP solution in your production environment.

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