Improve company productivity with a Business Account.Sign Up


I Need Some Help Creating a Test Environment

Posted on 2012-03-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-03-30
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.
Question by:csimmons1324
LVL 41

Assisted Solution

by:Kyle Abrahams
Kyle Abrahams earned 1000 total points
ID: 37722352
You're basically just looking for a proof of concept.  I would create some dummy users that is a subset of your main in your current VM setup.

I wouldn't image the servers so there's no confusion and this way you know for sure that it's only talking to test.  

Make sure you throw in some tricky names like O'brian and O'Reilly-Smith.
LVL 126

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 37722358
It's quite simple.....

P2V the servers you need in your virtual environment. For a Test and Dev Environment it's quite safe to P2V "Production" Domain Controllers, providing you P2V them at approx the same time. (and why I say at approx the same time is so they are in SYNC!)

P2V them into your ESXi environment, and then Create a Virtual Switch,. vSwitch1, which does not have a NIC to the outside world, e.g. NO PHYSICAL NIC, and create a Virtual Machine Portgroup to use this vSwitch.

You will be able to manage your test environment fully using vSphere Client. (upload and download files using floppy images or cdrom ISOs, build with Magic ISO).

This is what we do.......and we capture of Production DCs and Customers DC's weekly for test and dev work.

I would recommend and use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

and if you do use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0, and you want to make your transfers 60% faster checkout my EE article here

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

Download VMware vCenter Converter 5.0 here
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Documentation
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 User Guide

If you have issues, you may want to consult the following articles and guides

Read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here

Some Videos I've develeoped for Experts Exchange

A Tutorial video by me:- Restore a Virtual Machine using the FREE VMware vCenter Converter to VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.0 ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.0

A Tutorial video by me:- Backup VMware vSphere 4.x, 5.0 ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.0 for FREE using VMware vCenter Converter

A Tutorial video by me:- VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Process at work

A Tutorial video by me:- VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 Convert monolithic sparse to monolithic flat for use with VMware vSphere 4.x 5.0 ESXi 4.x 5.0

Featured Post

Improve Your Query Performance Tuning

In this FREE six-day email course, you'll learn from Janis Griffin, Database Performance Evangelist. She'll teach 12 steps that you can use to optimize your queries as much as possible and see measurable results in your work. Get started today!

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

New style of hardware planning for Microsoft Exchange server.
Want to create a VM?  Here's how you do it.
In this video tutorial I show you the main steps to install and configure  a VMware ESXi6.0 server. The video has my comments as text on the screen and you can pause anytime when needed. Hope this will be helpful. Verify that your hardware and BIO…
Video by: ITPro.TV
In this episode Don builds upon the troubleshooting techniques by demonstrating how to properly monitor a vSphere deployment to detect problems before they occur. He begins the show using tools found within the vSphere suite as ends the show demonst…

595 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question