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.