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how to build a lab that mirrors production environment

I have a question regarding how to build a lab that mirrors production environment. Please share your experiences and what did you use to build it? For example, P2V Ldif Dump? How to have all the AD objects exported to the lab and make sure it doesn't interfere with production environment. I will be using QMM AD for the migration.

Thank you very much.
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claudiamcse
Asked:
claudiamcse
1 Solution
 
Hassan BesherCommented:
The magic of Vmware just Convert Physical Computer Into Virtual Machine  :

http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/convert-use-your-physical-machine-in-vmware-virtualbox-virtual-pc/
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MaheshArchitectCommented:
The another alternative is deploy one more ADC in production environment
Once deployed properly make sure that it is deployed correctly as below
Check if netlogon and Sysvol are shared out
Check directory service events 1394 and FRS event ID 13516 OR DFSR event id 4604 if you are using DFSR for Sysvol replication
Also check if DNS management console\ ADUS are opening properly and server is able to replicate in AD properly through AD sites and service and through repadmin tool

These all checks are necessary in order to get working copy of DC in test lab
Once you passed all above checks, just disconnect server from network and take it into isolated network \ lab
Then start the DC \ plug into lab network change its IP address to suite with lab network and then restart its dns and netlogon service
Then seize all FSMO roles on that DC
Never bring this DC in production environment now - Very imp point to note

This will give you complete production setup in test lab

No mater how you prepare your server, through VMware converter OR new ADC in production as suggested above, you need to take post steps as exactly mentioned above

Mahesh.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you use Veeam Backup and Replication, you can Build virtual Labs in minutes, using SureLab.

otherwise, create a Private Network in VMware vSphere and CLONE all your Production Machines, and then make sure all these new VMs use the Private Network.
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madunixChief Information Security Officer Commented:
You can build SAN replication, all sensitive data will be replicated to a second storage system. Replication works like Continuous Data Protection: All writes to the primary system are logged and transmitted to the secondary system there repeatedly.
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/Redbooks.nsf/RedbookAbstracts/sg247574.html?Open
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks/pdfs/sg247574.pdf
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Leon FesterCommented:
When building a lab environment it is best to ensure that your lab and production network are not touching. i.e. have physically different networks, with your lab running off a single switch. It will save you many headaches. For me, a Lab is a separate room/lockup facility where I only work on my test machines.

The easiest way to move a DC into a lab is through P2V.
But if you only have physical servers then you can simply add a new DC to the domain, then switch it off and move it into the lab once the ad replication has completed.

You then just need to delete the DC computer from AD again.
And in the lab you delete the other DC's from ADUC.

Depending on your version of AD, e.g. 2008 or higher then just delete the computer account from ADUC. In 2003, you need to do a metadata cleanup.

If you have AD available you can then re-create your Exchange environment using the Setup /m:RecoverServer for Exchange 2007 or higher or using /DisasterRecovery for Exchange 2003
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