Cloning Exchange for Test/Benchmark Environment

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I want to know if there is a way to "clone" an Exchange server? Basically, I need to prepare a test environment that contains several Exchange servers on the same "physical" network to run and record benchmarking tests. Once these tests conclude, I need to tear down and completely refresh these Exchange systems with new Exchange builds. I need to quickkly deploy this test environment from a central console (i.e. like Ghost images). I am open the any third party product that will accomplish this, and/or if there is anything that can be done with the logical setup of the network (i.e. VLANs) that would permit these cloned servers to coexist. My only condition is that each system needs to be a clone of a pre-built/configured system and can be centrally deployed over a network. Also an important point is that the servers are standalone in nature; meaning that they do not need to communicate to each other, or to any other clients on the network. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mike

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Double Take is what we proposed to one of our customers as a way to ‘clone’ a server. http://www.nsisoftware.com They have pretty good reviews on this product. Not sure if it is exactly what you are looking for however. Good Luck…

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  • Juswannano
    A very powerful tool for test environments (production and non-production) is VMWare. You can host multiple applications, running on different OS platforms (partitions) within a single VMWare Workstation and then turn them on or off as needed. Most organizations cannot afford to fully replicate systems for test environments, so VMWare provides a dirt cheap solution and is very easy to learn and use.
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  • Michael711
    I will look into DoubleTake (left a message to get a sales person call back), but unfortunately I can not use VMWare, Microsoft's Virtual PC, or any of the other Virtual Machine software (long story). Thanks, Mike
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  • HappyGene
    Michael, The above approaches sound good to me. One way I have dealt with this is to setup another instance of Exchange on another drive fed by forwarding from the original or just as is with a different domain host name on a seldom used IP leg. Exchange is a Jet style product and you can xfer the mde style files anywhere and import them into the new instance of Exchange. I don.t remember the file extension names. If your product is pre-2000 versions, you can only have one per physical server unless you use the virtual manager cited above. Of course, if your metrics will be topology sensitive, different physical servers would skew your results. These links are relevant: http://www.swinc.com/resources/exchange/faq_db.asp?status=questions&faqID=1001&faqname=Exchange+2000&sectionID=1024&sectionName=Exchange+2000+Move+Server+Method http://www.netapp.com/tech_library/ftp/3350.pdf#search='multiple%20exchange%20server%20instances' Good luck and please post your denouement, :) Gene
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