Creating Lab Groups
In most cases, a machine does not work in isolation but has dependencies on other services and components, such as Active Directory or DNS. To verify such a machine, the DataLab will have to supply all services on which this machine is dependent. For this purpose, Orchestrator uses lab groups.
If a recovery plan contains a particular inventory group or machine, do not attempt to test this plan in a DataLab that includes a lab group with the same machine or inventory group.
To create a lab group for a DataLab:
- Navigate to DataLabs.
- In the DataLabs column, click the DataLab name.
For a DataLab to be displayed in the DataLabs list, it must be assigned to the scope as described in section Assigning and Configuring DataLabs.
- On the DataLab Details page, in the DataLab column, select the DataLab and click Edit.
- On the Edit DataLab page, in the Lab Groups column, click Add to include inventory groups in the DataLab.
- Complete the Add Lab Group wizard:
- At the Lab Group Type step, choose whether the lab group will contain VMs recovered from backups or replicas.
- At the Inventory Groups step, select the required inventory groups and click Add to include them in the lab group.
For an inventory group to be displayed in the Available Groups list, it must be added to the list of inventory items available for the scope, as described in section Managing Inventory Items.
- To configure VM recovery options and choose default steps that will be performed for machines in the lab group, follow the instructions provided in section Creating Replica Plans (steps 5–7), Creating CDP Replica Plans (steps 5–7), Creating Restore Plans (steps 6–8), or Creating Storage Plans (steps 6–8).
By default, Orchestrator skips a number of steps during the plan testing process — Generate Event, Send Email, Shutdown Source VM and VM Power Actions. That is why when you create a DataLab, you cannot add these steps at the VM Steps step of the wizard.
If you want to add these steps, close the Add Lab Group wizard, set the During DataLab Tests parameter value to Execute for each step as described in section Configuring Step Parameters, and then run the wizard again.
- At the Summary step, review configuration information and click Finish.
- To save changes made to the DataLab settings, click Save.
A common use case for lab groups is to provide domain controllers for the test environment. If there are domain controllers in a lab group, it is essential to add the Prepare DC for DataLab step. By design, it will automatically become the first step in the step execution order.
You may also optionally add domain controller-specific checks, such as Verify Domain Controller Port and Verify Global Catalog Port. These steps must be performed after the Ping VM Network step.
There is no clear use case for replicating a domain controller. Failing over to a domain controller that contains an old version of the Active Directory database is not recommended by Microsoft. The only real use case for replicating a domain controller is to use it in an isolated lab group, and you may need to create a replication job specifically for that purpose.