Copy Sharepoint 2010 from a development to production

We have a sharepoint database server and sharepoint front end/application server that is currently in development envorinment.  What is the process to make a copy or migrate the work done on the development to a production environment without having redo all the work again. Is there an approved process to accomplish this task?
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gregurlAsked:
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
Microsoft hasn't published a "best way" to do this.  Some options:

1. Copy databases between environments
2. Site collection backup/restore
3. 3rd party app like DocAve


I like site backup/restore.  You jsut have to verify that any custom solutions are deployed before restoring the site.
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gregurlAuthor Commented:
I have the two servers in a VMWare host. What happens if a make a clone of the servers and then rename the servers and change IP addresses? Will Sharepoint work in that type of migration? Any concerns of the SID?
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
No, don't do this.
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sharepointguru14Commented:
You will have problems just cloning vms and then renaming and changing IPs. That is not a recommended approach at all.

A site backup restore would be one way to get it done, but this is also probably only good for the first time you are deploying the site to production.
Depending on what you have "developed" the best and most reliable way may be to copy over and attach the content db from the dev server to the production server.

If you are doing lots of development then the "best" way would be to package all changes as features, version your features, and use a source code repository like TFS. Then you can just push your features up through the lifecycle running the upgrade code as required.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
Are you looking for more information?
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
I can assure you that the three options work that I posted.  Used all of them many times.  Also let you know NOT to do the VM clones.
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
35335730 should get the points
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sharepointguru14Commented:
I think a split between ID 35335730 and ID 35347722 is fair
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Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
fine with me.
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