First, I'm torn between posting this in the SQL forums, or in the Sharepoint forums. I think it's right for it to be here, but if someone needs to move it, feel free.
We have been using Sharepoint 2007 for a few years now. Unfortunately, we never setup a lab environment for development, update testing, etc. My task now is to do just that. Ideally, I'd like to create a mirrored (using the term loosely)
copy of the existing databases on a new server. My hope is that I can run patches and solution installations against this copy, and then test, etc.
Initially, I figured I'd just setup database mirroring, or copy the databases from one server to the other, but neither of these seem to be the way to go. Mirroring fails on databases that aren't set to FULL recovery mode, and copying tends to throw
errors about default schema clauses and other ____.
Again, maybe this is a SQL question. But, the more I think about it, I wonder if a direct copy of the sharepoint databases is a good idea, or even possible. Do databases such as 'Sharepoint_Content' contain instance-specific entries that would
cause the sharepoint site to fail, if it were attached to a different server? If I only copy the beefy 'WSS_Content' database for the main sharepoint site, will I still have all the solutions installed for the farm? (I think the answer to this
is no, but I pose it anyway.)
So to put it mildly, how can someone make a copy of an existing sharepoint site? Does anybody know of a blog or guide that describes doing just this? I've been unable to find much thus far. Any help would be appreciated!