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Cloning Trees for Lab Tests

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Posted: 18 Dec 2002

Here's a good thread from the forums that asks a frequently asked question that solicits some solid and cautionary advice:

The query:
I want to duplicate my NDS tree for testing purposes. I'm convinced that using DIB Sets will not work. I've come up with a possible solution. We are using Compaq hardware and the Compaq RAID controller mirroring for the sys volume. What if I down the server and remove one of the mirrored drives? Then I could replace the removed drive with a blank one and let the Compaq RAID controller rebuild the production server. I could then take the removed drive to the test lab and place it in an identical server and use that as the test tree. Any thoughts and comments on this idea?

I have a customer that has done this exact process many times. Splitting the raid mirror works well for them. The key is to ensure that the "Lab" environment truly is isolated from production, preferably isolated from the world to ensure no chance of connecting to production.

Another Response:
Assuming the NIC in the test server is the same, and that the two networks will never EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER (get the point) EVER touch each other, that should work.

Did I mention the two networks can never be allowed to touch?

Yet another response:
Duplicating DIB sets for lab environments can be handled several ways. Some more intensive than others. One thing to note is that the production tree turned lab WILL require clean up (unless the lab has the same number of production servers and is isolated)

Some things to try BUT remember, there are always risks involved!

  1. Add a new server to the root replica of the production tree then just move the server out of production with minimal clean up to production assuming a healthy DS
  2. Moving mirrored hard drives out of production is an option assuming the lab hardware is EXACTLY the same down to BIOS version of all servers, drives, arrays, NICs, etc....
  3. If edir 8.7 was introduced, then the hotback could be used
  4. Use the hardware upgrade process by shutting down a DIB set, copying it to a lab server. Then bring each DIB set back up.
  5. Use DIB sets. This requires the help of Novell Technical Services which will be touchy because these are steps they do not truly support.

A couple last thoughts for the "just in case". If Novell Technical Services is involved, have them change the creation time of the lab tree as well as rename the tree. I'm assuming the exact name of the tree in the lab is really not of concern compared to making sure the schema and all objects exist for testing.

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