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Tips & Tricks - Cloning a VM for a Test Environment

 
tomwallbank96
Occasional Visitor

Tips & Tricks - Cloning a VM for a Test Environment

   

Creating test environments from production Windows virtual machines can be done quickly and easily using the Clone function on a Volume Snapshot.  To avoid a conflict with the production system, bring the new VM up without a network card and run Sysprep with the Generalize option.  You’ll need a local Admin account when it comes back up!  If it has services that might conflict with your live environment disable those while it’s running offline.  After that the system can be brought on the network, re-joined to the domain and configured into a functioning test system without disturbing the production environment.  In addition to the speed of the process, the beauty of using a snapshot of the live environment is it takes very little space on the array.  As time goes by and changes occur the space used will increase, but should remain a fraction of the original.  When the developers are ready for a fresh test system and you’re cleaning up the unneeded files the last step is to remove the snapshot from the original volume you based the copy on.

 

 

2 REPLIES 2

Re: Tips & Tricks - Cloning a VM for a test environment

We do something like this, but I maintain a separate, isolated virtual network and duplicate a domain controller for testing purposes rather than join the test machine to our production network.

Virtualization Lead Architect
BEMA Information Technologies
c016smith
Occasional Visitor

Re: Tips & Tricks - Cloning a VM for a test environment

Thanks @sgalbincea137, that sounds like a great idea. Did you have (or do you now) any resistance from team members and any potential risk of those test and production servers somehow (inadvertently) overlapping and creating problems? In my head, it makes perfect sense as you described, just curious if you've experienced much push-back or if now (years later) you still believe this to be a great approach to it.  Any caveats you've learned that would make you choose a different path now? 

Thanks,

Chris