*Exchange* Copying production network to a lab network

blargoeblargoe Self-Described HuguenotNC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
I don't normally ask questions like these but I have so many other things I'm researching right now I figured I'd run my scenario by you guys...

I started a new job today and among the things I need to (re)implement is a test lab network envrionment that mirrors the production as much as possible. The whole bit - AD, Exchange, name resolution, in house apps, etc. Though totally separated from the production network environment, it does have its own Internet facing IP addresses, just like the production environment, so public apps can be tested.-p

There are maybe two limitations that I'm aware of. It needs to have a different domain name (instead of company.com, I think they have something like company-net.com registered for this purpose). The other thing is that we have 5 exchange servers in our exchange org (some here and some in China), and I don't believe we have the hardware to fully duplicate that.

My boss is thinking this shouldn't be too complicated, just restore the domain controllers to the lab and rename the domain, but I know it has to be more complicated than that since Exchange is involved.

Wouldn't renaming the domain royally screw up Exchange? Would this work if I only restored the Exchange front end and one of the back end servers or would AD get pissed off? Am I overthinking this?
IT guy since 12/00

Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
Working on: RHCE/Ansible
Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...

Comments

  • Danman32Danman32 Member Posts: 1,243
    Renaming the domain is a big pain. You can only do it with W2K3. Exchange might have some trouble with it, though as long as the org name remains the same, the database should mount. By default though, the org name is derived from the AD forest root domain name.
    You would also need to examine and change your recipient policies and be sure your Exchange users took on the new SMTP addresses.

    But since you said this test lab network is completely isolated, you can keep the domain name. AD shouldn't really be sharing internet DNS namespace anyway. Granted, your exchange server(s) would not receive mail from the internet since the MX record would be pointing to your production servers, but unless that is what you are researching, that should not be a problem. Even so, you can have Exchange receive mail from a different SMTP domain than AD's. Just add the alternate domain to recipient policies and make it primary.

    You can use VMWare or VPC to run multiple virtual servers on less hardware.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    We decided to just build the lab environment from scratch and copy in the OU structure from AD and a limited Exchange environment similar to what we have on the production network. It would have been nice to have an environment where I could have an exact copy for a more realisitic testbed, but it would be too big of a pain and I have too much on my plate to worry about that. As long as I can have another isolated area to do test restores I'll be OK.

    Thanks.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
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