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Setting up a test environment

By jeremytech76 ·
I am in my first year of IT and suddenly find myself basically the IT Admin. There are many changes that need to be made and I need to practice in a test environment first.

I want to setup a test environment that is practiaclly identical to the production PDC (running Server 2003 Standard). A few things that concern me are:

1. What do you think is the best way to segment the test environment from the production LAN to prevent services from interfering with one another (i.e. DHCP)? Managed switch setup to allow HTTP traffic only?

2. How do I get my test machine to be setup identical to the production server? Promote to domain controller and use the AD backup from the production server? Some other kind of backup installation?

I suppose this would be the same scenario I would be facing if my physical machine suddenly imploded and there were no secondary controllers and I had to back everything up onto a whole new machine. This is essentially what I want to do.

Any suggestions or links or help of any kind will be MUCH appreciated. I try to log in here at elast once a week and look for a question I can answer or ways to contribute as a way of giving back when Ihave questions. Looking for a littel Karma here. :)

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Same Situation

by tommykingery In reply to Setting up a test environ ...

Hi jeremytech, I wanted to e-mail you but your e-mail doesn't show up so posting on here will work. I am a student (intern) technician at a technical college. I have the same issue. The Net Admin approached me the other day wanting to set up a test lab and asked me if I would be interested. We also want to keep the LAN for the test environment separate from our domain. We also would like to get the setup to be identical (or what would be the point of testing on it). Let me know if you have found a fix for this or any information would be helpful. I have decent computer knowledge (am very new to child/forest domains and going about setting them up), but I still have a hard time knowing where to start. If you could, e-mail me at



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