You know that without Active Directory (AD), your business-critical applications like Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server can grind to a halt. Maybe you have an AD disaster recovery plan in place to get your federal agency running again in case AD becomes corrupt due to a virus, cyberattack or inadvertent change. But when was the last time you tested your AD disaster recovery plan? AD disasters are as unpredictable as any other kind of IT disaster, and if you haven’t tested your AD recovery plan, you may find out at the wrong time how difficult recovery can be. However, most agencies overlook testing their disaster recovery plans because they don’t have an efficient way of creating a test environment. This technical brief reviews conventional, manual methods of creating a virtual test lab (the hard way) and compares them to the Active Directory Virtual Lab component of Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest and Disaster Recovery Editions (the easy way).