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Best practices for update testing

Created: 14 Dec 2012 • Updated: 09 Jan 2013 | 2 comments
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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.

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andykn101's picture

Test environments for Altiris are almost impossible to do realistically. Once in production I usually recommend another server in the production environment, in the same AD OU. I have onboard MSDN/Technet SQL with Analysis and Reporting for IT Analytics and just restore a backup of the Prod database whenever I want to test an upgrade. If Deployment is being used use a seperate VLAN.

To get the Executables in an environment not internet coeected use the "Create Install Pacakge" option in Symantec Installation Manager.

The only thing the test NS is likely to do in a production environment is the scheduled push of agents to computers it thinks haven't an agent or Network Discovery if you've got any of those set up.

Authorised Symantec Consultant (ASC) with Endpoint Management Limited, an Authorised Symantec Delivery Provider based in the UK.

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aschuler's picture

Okay, thanks for that. I guess maybe I'll go the route of a test server with a cloned database instead of trying to do a full clone of the NS.