Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides—What Do You Think?

imageTest Lab Guides provide a method for you to try out a new product or technology and see how it works in your own test lab. When you use Test Lab Guides you see all the working parts, all the front-end and back-end components, and most importantly, see how that all work together to create a working solution.

Test Lab Guides enable you to get your hands on each configuration setting for simple to extremely complex scenarios. In fact, I’m working on a Test Lab Guide now that will require 10 virtual machines – but provides a demonstration of a very complex multi-site deployment of UAG DirectAccess using a single ISATAP cloud to enable multi-point access to the intranet. You’ll see what it looks like in about two weeks.

Test Lab Guide Types

There are three types of Test Lab Guides:

  • The Base Configuration on which all Test Lab Guides are based
  • The Demonstrating Test Lab Guides, where you build out a specific product or technology or collection of technologies in the Test Lab
  • The Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides, where you learn how to use troubleshooting tools to troubleshoot a specific product or technology, or collections of products and technologies in a complex scenario

The following troubleshooting TLGs are available:

The Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides are actually based on a working configuration that you have already created when you did one of the “Demonstrating” Test Lab Guides.

For example, the Test Lab Guide: Troubleshoot UAG DirectAccess is based on the completion of another Test Lab Guide called Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate UAG DirectAccess. In the troubleshooting Test Lab Guide you begin with a working configuration and then break stuff on purpose (we give you instructions on what to break, in what we call “Break-Me’s). After you break the stuff, you use a variety of troubleshooting tools and techniques to troubleshoot the broken configuration.

For an example of how “Break-me’s” work, check out this video.

The goal of the Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides is to show you what tools are available to troubleshoot the product, technology or scenario and what their output looks like when things are working right, and then what the output looks like when things aren’t working (because you’ve broken it on purpose).

Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides – Are They Worth IT?

We have received various feedback regarding the “Troubleshooting” guides and we would like to get input from the community on whether or not you find this approach valuable and if we should continue investing in the troubleshooting guides. Of course, we think the Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides are a great idea because you get hands-on experience with the troubleshooting tools and some insight into what things should look like and what they might look like when they’re broken. In the guides we try to focus on the most common troubleshooting scenarios so that you get the most “bang for your buck”.

What do you think? Are the troubleshooting Test Lab Guides valuable to you? Would you like to have more troubleshooting Test Lab Guides? Is there something missing from the current approach to Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides that would make them more useful for you?

Let us know! You can write to me at and let me know what you think about the Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides or you can write your thoughts and ideas about Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides in the comments section below. I do subscribe to the RSS feed for the comments section, so I’ll know when you’ve posted a comment and I’ll acknowledge your input and address your issues.

Thanks for the help!


Tom Shinder
Knowledge Engineer, Microsoft DAIP iX/Forefront iX
UAG Direct Access/Anywhere Access Group (AAG)
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