Please visit the article for all the info and several conversations going on in the comments:
It’s been on TNWiki since July 2010, but the great thing about TNWiki is that the content just keeps getting better and better! Thanks to Joe Davies for building such a great article!
What are Test Lab Guides?
Test lab guides (TLGs) allow you to get valuable hands-on experience with new products and technologies using a pre-defined and tested methodology that results in a working configuration. When you use a TLG to create a test lab, instructions define what servers to create, how to configure the operating systems and system services, and how to install and configure any additional products or technologies. A TLG experience enables you to see all of the components and the configuration steps on both the front-end and back-end that are required for a product or technology or for a multi-product or technology solution.
What’s the challenge?
A challenge in creating useful TLGs is to enable their reusability and extensibility. Because creating a test lab can represent a significant investment of time and resources, your ability to reuse and extend the work required to create test labs is important. An ideal test lab environment would enable you to create a basic lab configuration, save that configuration, and then build out multiple test lab scenarios in the future by starting with the base configuration.
Base Configuration TLG
The Base Configuration TLG allows you to create the base configuration test lab, upon which you can build test labs based on other TLGs from Microsoft, test lab extensions in the TechNet Wiki, or a test lab of your own design that can include Microsoft or non-Microsoft products. This base configuration test lab uses computers running Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 and consists of two subnets: the Corpnet subnet that hosts the Contoso Corporation intranet and the Internet subnet that simultates the Internet.
The following figure show the base configuration test lab with the Corpnet (required and consisting of the DC1, APP1, and CLIENT1 computers) and Internet (optional and consisting of the EDGE1 and INET1 computers) subnets. When both the Corpnet and Internet subnets are configured, the CLIENT1 computer can be moved between the subnets to show intranet and Internet behaviors and functionality.
The base configuration TLG is just the beginning of the test lab experience. Other TLGs, test lab extensions, or TLG mini-modules focus on Microsoft products or platform technologies, but all of them use the Base Configuration TLG as a starting point.
For more details, please visit the article: