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Configuring and Administering Lab Management

Visual Studio Lab Management lets you manage a collection of virtual machines, templates, and virtual environments for your Team Foundation team project. You can use these environments to develop, test, or run your application. A virtual environment is a collection of virtual machines (VMs). Each VM in a virtual environment represents a role required for the application that you intend to develop, test, or run. For example, you might be developing a multi-tiered application that requires three roles: a desktop client, a Web server, and a database server. 

When you create virtual machines from the golden master to represent a specific role that is required for a tier in your application, you then use these virtual machines to create an environment that is based on the roles in your application, as shown in the following illustration.

Environment for Multi-Tier Application

You can use Lab Management to start all the virtual machines in the environment to run an application, or test an application. Lab Management uses System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) to allow you access to virtual machines or templates in a library as your golden masters. These golden masters are created by using either Hyper-V or SCVMM. SCVMM is used to deploy the virtual machines and templates in your environments on the specified host group. For more information about Lab Management, see Using a Virtual Lab for Your Application Lifecycle.

Lab Management integrates with Team Foundation Build to let you deploy your application to a virtual environment, and run tests after the build is deployed. For more information, see Deploying An Application to a Virtual Environment.

You can also run tests at any time on your virtual environments by using Microsoft Test Manager. For more information, see Testing Using Virtual Environments.


If you will be performing manual or automated testing in purely physical environments, or in physical environments composed of third-party virtual machines, you do not need to do any of the following tasks: use Hyper-V, configure SCVMM, or configure lab management. Instead, you can simply install a test agent on the physical machine, register a test controller with your team project collection, and configure the test agent to use that test controller. After you have done this, use the Lab Center in Microsoft Test Manager to create a new physical environment. For the steps to create a physical environment and run tests, see Creating a Physical Environment to Use for Testing.

Use the following topics to help you configure and administer Lab Management:


Associated Topics

Setting up Lab Management for the first time: To use Lab Management, you must first configure all the software to work together, including Hyper-V, SCVMM, and Lab Management. 

Changing your Lab Management configuration: You might want to add more host groups, change the library share that is used, modify the integration service account, or add build controllers or test controllers after you have configured Lab Management for the first time.

Assigning users permissions to use virtual lab resources: The default Team Foundation Server security groups automatically give members certain permissions to use Lab Management resources. You might want to modify those permissions or assign permissions to custom groups or users.

  • Managing User Permissions for Lab Management

Backing up and restoring your virtual environments, templates and virtual machines: You can back up and restore the virtual environments, templates and virtual machines that you have created by using Lab Management.