Why a Potato you may ask? well, I guess that all the french speakers understood it, but PDT is the abbreviation in french for “Pomme de terre”, which actually means Potato. I was searching for a sexy image of a potato, and well, that one was the sexiest 😉
One of the things I do most in my daily work, is trying things out. If it works it is great. If not, I adapt/correct it until it works.
This said, beeing able to test things is not that straight forward, because we need to have a test machine.
More then that, for system center engineers like me, a test machine is often not enough; You need a complete sandbox where you can create and test things without having to be afraid of breaking anything (And sometimes actually breaking them ;)). A good thing to do is to create your self a complete lab.This is particullarly usefull for migration scenario tests for example. I would actually recommend to create a clean lab for each new project that you start. But I agree, it can be time consuming, and sometimes our test could be done in an already existing lab. But using the right tools will make this installation time defenitly shorter then with others!
Several methods exists to help you in order to create a complete LAB without minutes. Some of them are famous, other ones are more obscure, but there are all pretty good in general, and I will present you one that I particularly like: The powershell deployment toolkit or PDT.
The PowerShell deployment ToolKit is a set of PowerShell scripts that allows you to create a lab in not time. It is a great tool, which works really really well, when it is properly configured. But that configuration can become quickly someting frustrating because of the lack of detailed documentation.
The lack of documentation can turn this easy to use tool into something way more complicated then it actually is. There is no real documentation that you can refer to, in comment based help, nothing that helps to drill in the different options that are offered by the PowerShell deployment ToolKit. The only documentation that is available (that I know of at least) are the other blog posts and links that I am sharing in this post, AND in the PowerShell deployment toolkit code it self!
But no worries, I will try point out in this post firstly where to get it, and how to get all of the dependencies. Secondly I will show with an own example how to configure it. And last but not least, I will share my troubleshooting exepriences and the most common errors / issues you can find with the powershell deployment toolkit.