Setting up a Pre-Production Test Environment

In preparation for your upgrade to SCSM 2012, you will want to set up a Pre-Production environment to test the upgrade in first.  You will want to make sure that the upgrade goes smoothly and that your customizations are preserved as expected.  Doing so will ensure a smoother production upgrade.  Customers often ask us how to replicate their production environment as a pre-production environment.

Here is how we worked with one customer – Fletcher Kelly (@fskelly) – to do it.


1. Promote a new DC into Production, wait for replication.

2. Add a admin account to Schema Admins (this is needed later on)

3. Do not reset any passwords of any run as accounts (learned this one the hard way)

4. Move DC into ring-fenced network.

5. Seize all required roles to the “Lab DC” (ntdsutil, this is where the Schema admin is needed for Schema Master)

6. Restored a DPM backup of the SM management sever VHD and DW management server VHD

7. Restored the required databases for SM (serviceManager LDF and MDF)

8. Restored the required databases for the DW (DWDataMart, DWStagingAndConfig and DWRepository)

9. Create the required Virtual Machines using the vhd’s you restored.

10. Present additional VHDs to replicate production drives. Each of the servers had two additional drives for MDF and LDF files respectively.

11. Copy the required MDF and LDF to the necessary locations on both the MS and the DW.

12. Restart both MS and DW

13. Once restarted, check the System Center Data Access Service, System Center Management and System Center Management Configuration Services

14. Check for a warning regarding SPN in the event log stating that a SPN must be created.

a. Log onto the server complaining about SPN (Usually MS and DW)

b. Run the following command (without quotes)

i. “setspn –U domainusername –A MSOMSdksvc/netbiosnameofMS”

ii. “setspn –U domainusername –A MSOMSdksvc/FQDNofMS”

iii. “setspn –U domainusername –A MSOMSdksvc/netbiosnameofDW”

iv. “setspn –U domainusername –A MSOMSdksvc/FQDNofMS”

For example mine – “setspn –U <some domain>MySMSystemAcct -A MSOMSdksvc/MySMServer

For example mine – “setspn –U <some domain>MySMSystemAcct -A MSOMSdksvc/

15. If you got the error mentioned above, restart  System Center Data Access Service, System Center Management and System Center Management Configuration Services


Some other ideas I have but which I haven’t tested yet:

1) Instead of introducing a new DC, try to P2V one of your DCs.

2) Instead of using a ring fenced physical network, put all your VMs on a private network on a host.

3) If your SM servers are installed physically try to P2V them.


Let me know how it goes for you in the comments below and we can all learn from each others experiences.