Tom Wallbank

Tips & Tricks - Cloning a VM for a Test Environment

Discussion created by Tom Wallbank on Jul 25, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 25, 2014 by Steve Galbincea


Creating test environments from production Windows virtual machines can be done quickly and easily using the Clone function on a Volume Snapshot.  To avoid a conflict with the production system, bring the new VM up without a network card and run Sysprep with the Generalize option.  You’ll need a local Admin account when it comes back up!  If it has services that might conflict with your live environment disable those while it’s running offline.  After that the system can be brought on the network, re-joined to the domain and configured into a functioning test system without disturbing the production environment.  In addition to the speed of the process, the beauty of using a snapshot of the live environment is it takes very little space on the array.  As time goes by and changes occur the space used will increase, but should remain a fraction of the original.  When the developers are ready for a fresh test system and you’re cleaning up the unneeded files the last step is to remove the snapshot from the original volume you based the copy on.