U-M Windows Test Forest

The U-M Windows test forest has been designed to provide a safe testing and learning environment for Windows Active Directory related activities. The test forest allows new Windows administrators 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 applications and Active Directory schema changes.

U-M 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.

U-M 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.