Duplicating a virtual machine for testing/development purposes

Posted on 2014-08-21
Last Modified: 2014-10-10
I have a fairly big project coming up in which I need to upgrade a third party application currently running on a hyperv 2008 R2 host. The application and its backend database reside on the same VM. The client portion of this application resides on a separate VM also running on a hyperv 2008 R2 host.

Instead of performing the upgrades on the production systems I want to create duplicate/mirror copies of these two systems. Unfortunately, I do not have a test/development network segment to put these system in and I believe they will require access to resources in order to function properly. Resources such as Active Directory.

My plan is to simply take a copy of the .vhd files, attach them to newly created VMs. Bring the VMs up with no network connection:
- change the name
- change the IP address
- join them back to the domain after renaming & readdressing them and turning network connections back on.

Am I missing a step? Should I sys prep these systems in order to remove the SIDs, etc?
Question by:dowhatyoudo22
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    by:Jayaraja Jayaraman
    also if there any custom developments or anywhere the urls are hardcoded then you will be in trouble...
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    by:Sir Learnalot
    Yes, sys prep the machines otherwise you may have a conflict with the existing machines
    LVL 116

    Accepted Solution

    You only need to Sysprep the machines if using in Production and for various management, e.g. System Center and WSUS.

    When you change the name, IP Address, and add back to the domain, the machine will be fine, and will not "conflict" with an existing machine! The re-joining of the domain, will give you Domain SID.

    It's the Machine SID, which Sysprep can change, and other machine-specific info used by WSUS and System Center.

    you can have a read of the following:-

    from the article

    The final case where SID duplication would be an issue is if a distributed application used machine SIDs to uniquely identify computers. No Microsoft software does so and using the machine SID in that way doesn’t work just for the fact that all DC’s have the same machine SID. Software that relies on unique computer identities either uses computer names or computer Domain SIDs (the SID of the computer accounts in the Domain).

    The Machine SID Duplication Myth (and Why Sysprep Matters)
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    by:Liam Somerville
    If there is any way you can migrate your VMs to an isolated test server, that would be best. All you'd need is a license for 2008 R2 since Hyper-V is free. That way you avoid the headaches re-integrating your machines to a production network and give yourself a safe place to do this kind of testing in the future.

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