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Test on a lab environment

A lab environment is a group of computers that you manage as a single entity. Usually you use them for system testing. If you’re testing a distributed application such as a web app, you can perform realistic tests by deploying each component on a separate machine.

Lab environments let you collect diagnostic data from all the machines in the lab while you’re performing your tests. The data, such as event logs or Intellitrace files, are attached to the test results and to any bug that you create.

Manual testing with lab servers.

Lab environments also provide a convenient way to manage the assignment of test machines to testers.

What you can do


Setting up

Standard lab environment

You can add any physical or virtual Windows machine to a standard environment.


  • Reset the machines in the environment to a fresh state before starting your tests.

  • Take a snapshot of the machine states when you find a bug, to help diagnosis.

  • Save an environment as a template from which you can create new environments with new virtual machines.

SCVMM environment

Initial setup: create virtual machines in SCVMM.

Once your SCVMM machines are set up, you can create environments from them. You can also save machines as templates and make fresh copies.


  • Create several environments from the same template and perform tests on them at the same time, without network name clashes.

Network isolated environment

Initial setup: create a library of virtual machines that you can use as templates.