Active Directory Test Forest

The Active Directory test forest has been designed to provide a safe testing and learning environment for Active Directory related activities. The test forest allows IT staff members to become familiar with Active Directory in a setting that will not adversely affect users in their department. The test forest is also used to test new applicationsĀ and Active Directory schema changesĀ and upgrades.

Production and Test Forest Similarities

  • The production (prod) and test forests share a number of similarities, which make the test forest a good "testbed" for projects that will eventually be moved to the prod forest:
  • Both the prod and test forests support Kerberos pass-through authentication.
  • The high-level OU structure of the prod and test forests is similar.
  • Domain-level Group Policy settings are very similar in the prod and test forests.
  • U-M Directory users are synchronized to the People OU of both the prod and test forests.
  • The prod and test forest share WINS servers, located in the prod forest.
  • Both the prod and test forest support a U-M Windows Central Accounts web site.
  • Both the prod and test forest support Microsoft Exchange.

Production and Test Forest Differences

  • Despite a number of similarities, the prod and test forests differ in significant ways:
  • The test forest has fewer OU's than the prod forest.
  • The lower level OU directory structure of the test forest frequently does not match that of the prod forest.
  • Names differ between the prod and test forest, as to do the associated GUID's, SID's, etc.
  • The Domain Controllers in the test forest are sufficient, but less capable than their prod forest counterparts.
  • Some prod forest applications do not have test forest equivalents.