Server test environment

By jeremytech76 ·
I recently started working with a new company. I am in my first year of IT administration and my company has no test environment.

I want to setup a segmented network that clones our PDC. I plan on using a switch to keep the two networks from communicating (such as having two DHCP server competing). Sound like the best way to accomplish that?

My primary question is this? How can I setup my test machine to be a clone of the Primary Domain Controller? Is it as simple as installing Active Directory and using the backup file from the PDC to restore to the new machine?

It would seem that I would be performing the same task as if our PDC was destroyed. What is the general procedure in such a scenario?

Also, what means would I use to keep the machine in an up-to-date state as the DC it is mimicking? Continue to use the backups periodically from the PDC?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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