This article at SQL Server Central is nominally about virtualization, but quickly descends into a description of the seventh level of Hell, where one is surrounded by those who commit violence against themselves, their neighbors, God and Nature. What a nightmare! This is like the “before” picture in a hypothetical SEI commerical, or perhaps a warning anecdote in an old Steve McConnell book. Of course the project was canceled.
I did find one topic from this article interesting:
Every time we tried to bring a team in, we ran into two identical sets of problems. First, the security was always a horror show. We never could keep the user permissions synced properly between our real environment and the sets of virtual servers that defined the fenced off development environments. I’m not an Active Directory expert. I’m not even an AD beginner, so I don’t know the details of everything that they tried, but suffice to say the amount of work to try to keep these environments synced with our ever changing regular environment was pretty intense.
It is my hunch that this problem is non-trivial, and is going to crop up in just about every directory service implementation. I’m also no expert, but have run into problems of this general nature many times – configuring users and groups on new systems in some sort of automated (actually, just repeatable) way. I’m not convinced that there’s an easy architectural blueprint for this sort of thing just yet.