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  • Restore Active Directory in test lab

    Hello everybody,
    I am trying to setup test lab that simulates production environment as much as possible.
    Production environment is running Windows 2003 domain with 2 domain controllers.
    In test lab I would have 1 domain controller and a couple of other machines.
    What steps would I have to follow in order to setup this? Would System State Backup in production and Restore in test lab on different machine, with different hardware work?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  • #2
    Re: Restore Active Directory in test lab

    If you are interested in a snapshot of your current AD, you can:
    - dcpromo a new DC in production
    - make the new DC a GC
    - install DNS on the new DC
    - disconnect the new DC from production network
    - clean up the DC's metadata in production environment

    - put the disconnected DC in a seperate VLAN
    - seize the FSMO roles
    - in the test environment perform metadata cleanup to remove the production DCs from test environment.
    - update the sites&subnets info to reflect the new test subnet layout


    Personally I do not like restoring System State to alternative hardware - too much time is wasted on fighting the drivers issues, etc...
    Guy Teverovsky
    "Smith & Wesson - the original point and click interface"

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    • #3
      Re: Restore Active Directory in test lab

      Thank you for the reply. I'll give this a try.
      How do you perform metadata cleanup?

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      • #4
        Re: Restore Active Directory in test lab

        microsoft instructions:

        here

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        • #5
          Re: Restore Active Directory in test lab

          If anyone else wants to simulate the production environment in the test lab you can use this free utility. I recently used it and it worked great in replicating our 2003 AD Domain in a test lab with no SID issues.



          The tool is called XSync v0.2 and can be obtained at http://www.yside.com/projects/tools.htm.

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          • #6
            Re: Restore Active Directory in test lab

            There is a very good reason I do not recommend people to use meta-directory or LDAP synchronization tools like XSync, when setting up a test environment.

            All those tools will migrate at best the AD structure and accounts.
            The AD environment created with those tools will not simulate the original AD with regards to the following:
            - GPOs (anf GPO permissions) not migrated
            - ACLs of AD structure are not migrated
            - No Schema synchronization
            - No DNS synchronization
            - Sites&Subnets not migrated
            - IPSec filters not migrates
            - CA issues

            And the list goes on and on...

            The closest thing to production you can get, is by taking a snapshot of the whole AD by introducing a temporary DC and then taking it aside.
            Guy Teverovsky
            "Smith & Wesson - the original point and click interface"

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