Sharepoint 2010 Restore to Test Enviroment

We have a test sharepoint 2010 farm which mirrors our production enviroment which consist of three two fronend web servers, 1 app server and a clustered database.

I have been asked by our web team to refresh the test enviroment to contain an updated copy of the site and data in production.

Our test enviroment is on the same network and production but uses different server names.

What is the best was to refresh the content and data in sharepoint 2010 to our test enviroment
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compdigit44Asked:
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Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
With careful you should be able to use OOB SharePoint back-up and restore process.
compdigit44Author Commented:
Thanks for the replay...

I have used the sharepoint restore feature before but will this reference the sites and content as well. Also, will it over write othe sites which are not included in the restore in the test enviroment
Walter CurtisSharePoint AEDCommented:
You have a wide range of options when backing up and restoring in SharePoint. You can do full farm backups, Site collection backups, sub-sites, lists and libraries. The process is very granular.

The process will overwrite existing content if you use the overwrite parameters. It will not merge content however.
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compdigit44Author Commented:
So if I am understanding you correctly, a SharePoint farm restore will restore all of the data/content contained within the sites and update the database accordingly?

When would if be necessary to restore the DB's in SQL?

Thank you for you help and guidance.
vaderjCommented:
When we refresh our dev and test environments, we do SQL backup/restores on the content databases and then manually compare configuration, but our environment is quite customized

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compdigit44Author Commented:
Thanks, but I am confused what situations would use use a sharepoint farm restore vs sql restore.
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