I need some advise! We are in the process of implenting a new ERP software package. The developer of the ERP software is writing an intregration package that will allow their ERP software to have bi-directional communication with our Microsoft Dynamics CRM software. Since they are writing this for us I definitly want to test out exactly how this integration will work before we implement it into our live production servers.
At first, I took some old hardware and installed VMWare ESXi on one of the boxes. I then created three virtual machines...a domain controller, CRM server and SQL server since our production environment uses three seperate servers for these tasks. Within the VMs, I created a new domain and so forth. Then it occured to me that my approach may not work because none of my Active Directory users and other other info are in the newly created domain. So I had to reevaluate everything that I was trying to do and I have come here for some help.
How can I create a test environment that matches our current setup? Should I image the servers move those images into my test environment? If I image these servers, can I still use VMs in my test environment or do I need a box for each and every server that I am trying to replicate?
Any and all suggestions are very appreciated. This is the first time that I have had to setup a test environment that duplicates our production environment and I am at a loss on how to do this.