In a previous blog post, I discussed the modular nature of new test lab guides for DirectAccess and Network Access Protection. That was just the beginning of a larger effort to expand the role of test lab guides for driving understanding of products and technologies during the evaluation phase.

My esteemed colleague Tom Shinder and I have rolled out the new Microsoft Test Lab Guides (TLGs), which have the following features:

  • Standardized lab configuration: All TLGs are based on a common base configuration that includes a simulated Internet and intranet.
  • Modular and extensible: Modular TLGs can stack upon each other, allowing you to build out multi-product/feature solutions.
  • Integrated into TechNet library content: “How the test lab is configured”, “Try this in the test lab,” and “How it works in the test lab” sections within design, deployment, troubleshooting, and technical reference content use a working test lab to provide examples and additional hands-on learning. Click here for examples.
  • Leverages virtualization: TLGs provide virtualization advice so that you can save snapshots of test lab configurations for further experimentation and learning.
  • Extensibility through the TechNet Wiki: You can record your test lab experiences to demonstrate additional feature or product capabilities or advanced configuration (such as the use of non-Microsoft products) through TLG extension topics in the TechNet Wiki.
  • Troubleshooting TLGs: Allow you to test troubleshooting tools and learn troubleshooting skills in the controlled environment of a test lab.

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For a great statement of the value of TLGs, see Tom’s blog post here.

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Tom and I have published the following TLG stacks:

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DirectAccess in Windows Server 2008 R2:

 

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DirectAccess in Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010:

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For an overview of TLGs and their different types, see Test Lab Guides in the TechNet Wiki.

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What do you think? Are Microsoft Test Lab Guides something you or someone else in your organization would use to learn about or adopt a new multi-product/feature/technology scenario?

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We would love to hear from you. If you have comments, please leave them in this blog post.

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Thanks!

 

Joe Davies
Principal Writer
Windows Server Documentation Team