In this post I’d like to give you more details about the new Active Directory Virtual Lab (ADVL) feature of Recovery Manager for Active Directory – Forest Edition (RMAD-FE)

With this new feature you can fully automate the creation of virtual Active Directory labs to test Schema Extensions or your forest recovery concept (Firedrill) by just a few clicks.

Here is how it works:

after connecting to your virtualization platform you are able to select the Domain controllers of your productive environment you’d like to clone to your virtual lab:

You can then configure hardware, AD roles and other things of the DC’s in your virtual lab:

The solution will check all the Settings (“verify Settings”) and after this you can start creating your lab (“create lab”)

Important thing to notice: the lab will have exactly the same name as the productive one so … the lab has to be isolated, but don’t worry, you will get several warnings to check this ;-)

ADVL will pass the creation of the virtual machine to Hyper-V or VConverter (depending on your platform) which will create a clone of a current snapshot of your live DC’s. After this ADVL itself will do all the necessary configuration steps like resetting passwords, seizing roles or cleanup the metadata. This is the more interesting thing and will bring in the real value of the tool!

In my test Environment it took about 1 hour to create a virtual lab out of my productive AD with just a few clicks.

So this will help you to save a lot of time and money.