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creating a test server in vmware esxi

Hi,
I have a server which is used for crm with an sql database on it.
I want to create a virtual copy of the server for making changes on so that if I face any problems there not published to the live server.
If i do this and I make changes can I then publish the changes made on the virtual server back onto the physical?
Also with the virtual test server how can I get round the issue of it's IP address won't having this server on the network with my physical one cause network issues.
Sorry I am very new to vmware and still trying to get my head around it.
many thanks
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Techno-Man-uk
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Techno-Man-uk
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
You can use the VMware vConverter to make a one-to-one copy of the physical box.

AFAIK, there is no software that can only replicate changes made to a physical box to a VM.
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Techno-Man-ukAuthor Commented:
OK what will a one to one copy allow me to do?
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
Using VMware vConverter you can produce an identical clone of the physical box.

I would like you to update your backup strategy which you are currently using to backup the physical server.

What OS is the physical Server running and is it using Volume License/ OEM License ?
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Techno-Man-ukAuthor Commented:
Hi,
My current backup does backup my physical server.
The OS is Windows Server 2003 Standard 64x Edition its a Volume lic.
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
The reason why I asked about the Volume License was to ensure that you do not run into problems later with respect to Licensing aspects.

Do you backup only the SQL DB then ? If so what is the backup frequency ?
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Techno-Man-ukAuthor Commented:
yes I backup the DB mon to thurs using diff and fri full.
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
What is the current db size and how is the CRM tool licensed ? (Is it licensed based on any MAC Address limitations)
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Techno-Man-ukAuthor Commented:
not 100% sure on the crm lic but i dont think its based on a mac address its just 1 lic for the server and then CAL per user.
The database is around 40 Gb
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
The best way to recover from a disaster in your context is to keep a VM ready with identical operating system  and software installed.

In case disaster strikes, you can use your latest DB backup and restore it to the VM which is kept ready.
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Techno-Man-ukAuthor Commented:
ok, but the issue is still with making a virtual server and using it for testing
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
Since you need an identical copy, I suggest that you take a clone using VMware vConverter and then use it without providing an uplink.
(binding no physical ethernet adapter to the Virtual NIC).

In this way, there would be no IP or SID Conflicts but still you would have an identical copy of your physical Server.
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