Best practices for update testing
I'm curious how folks are testing updates before applying to the production environment. I'm looking at applying the MP1.1 upgrade to 7.1SP2.
We have a single NS with 11 task and package servers.
My initial approach to testing was to convert the NS to a VM and bring it into an "on host" only network with VMWare. I was going to put SQL on the same VM and load the data from a backup. Then apply the updates and see what happens.
Some struggles are around the network access. The VM needs to have some access to pull the packages from Symantec, but will the NS also try to reach out to the production site servers since it's a clone of the production box? Will this cause problems if it does?
How are you building as accurate a test environment as possible to test updates?
Thanks for any feedback.