We promised complete transparency when we kick-started this project (Visual Studio ALM Rangers – Tackling Lab Management a la “Ruck”) and we have reached a point where I should create the first “notes” post for the project.

Current Status

We are currently refining the product backlog, working on the sprint backlog items and gearing up to install, configure and explore the Lab Management environment in all the feature area teams. We will be able to share some of the plans and activities later this week to give you an insight into what some of the great deliverables in the first “Ruck” sprint will be.

Getting Lab Management Implemented … “rough” and “un-sanitized” notes

Preparing the environment … checklists

Thanks Vijay for these checklists, which we will be evaluating and incorporating into the guidance:

    • Check-list for Hyper-V host:
    • BIOS setting for virtualization is enabled.
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 and all its updates are installed.
    • Machine is joined to domain.
    • Hyper-V role is enabled.
    • Hyper-V admin console can be opened.
    • Blank VM can be created and started.
    • ‘Hyper-V settings’ uses the correct folder (with adequate disk capacity) for storing VMs and VHDs.
    • ‘Virtual Network Manager’ in Hyper-V shows that an appropriate virtual network (external for multiple machine or corp-based setups, internal network for self-contained mobile setups).
    • WinRM commands are run as documented in MSDN host setup. This is to improve reliability of operations.
    • Check-list for SCVMM:
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 all its updates are installed.
    • Machine is joined to domain.
    • SCVMM Server is installed.
    • SCVMM admin console is installed.
    • SCVMM admin console can be opened.
    • Hyper-V host is added to a host group in SCVMM.
    • Hyper-V host’s properties in SCVMM show an appropriate amount of resources are reserved for software running on the host.
    • Host group is configured to allow unencrypted file transfers.
    • Library server is configured to allow unencrypted file transfers.
    • A blank VM can be created from SCVMM on the Hyper-V host and stored in the library.
    • Check-list for Template creation:
    • A VM with the necessary OS and pre-requisites is running on the Hyper-V host.
    • VM Prep Tool is downloaded and installed on the SCVMM machine as per the instruction in its documentation.
    • .ps1 files in the VM Prep Tool\VMPrepToolLibrary folders have been unblocked.
    • The logged in user is both an admin on SCVMM and an admin on host.
    • VMPrep tool is run targeting the VM prepared in step 1.
    • New template is stored in SCVMM library.
    • Check-list of TFS configuration:
    • Lab management tab under Application Tier in TFS admin console is configured with SCVMM server.
    • For each project collection, a different host group and library share have been assigned.
    • For each project collection, a lab service account has been assigned.
    • All the verifications when adding host groups and library shares passed.
    • A build controller has been configured against each project collection (for enabling build-deploy-test automation).
    • A test controller has been configured against each project collection (for enabling testing scenarios).
    • The build drop share configured in the build definitions has read permission for lab service account.
    • Check-list for MTM:
    • MTM can be opened and connected to a team project.
    • Lab Center for that project is enabled.
    • Templates that are stored in SCVMM can be imported into MTM.
    • A new environment with the testing and workflow capabilities can be created using templates.
    • The testing and workflow capabilities on that environment become ready when the environment is started.

    Getting started … some great references

    The correct hardware? (thanks Chuck for your post):

    Lab Management VHD (thanks Brian for the pointer):

    Planning and Setting Up (thanks Zayd for the pointers):