Most organizations initially deploy in a lab environment that simulates the production environment. The lab environment allows you to test the planned changes to system and user management processes. For example, if you plan to automate migration using scripts, you should build and test the operation of your tools to verify they work as you intend. After testing in a lab, most organizations move to a pilot deployment with a limited number of computers and users to continue verifying that authentication, authorization, and directory services are all handled properly in a real-world environment before moving to a full-scale migration across the enterprise.
In many cases, the pilot deployment also requires more formal testing of specific use cases to validate the deployment before rolling out software to additional computers. This phase of the deployment may also include activities designed to help users transition to Active Directory.
To validate the deployment:
- Execute test cases that verify authentication.
- Execute test cases the verify authorization rules for login access and restricted access.
- Execute test cases that verify the provisioning process.
- Execute test cases that address issues unique to your organization or your user community.
Other activities you may want to perform as part of the validation process include:
- Test configuration changes and customize configuration parameters.
- Document test results.
- Troubleshoot any authentication or authorization issues, if any are found.
- Train staff on new procedures.
Communicate process changes to the users who are migrating to Active Directory.
For example, if you plan to eliminate local account access, implement stricter password policies, or apply new access controls, you should prepare the user community for these changes.