4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 22, 2016 12:03 PM by lpadgett

    Pharos test environment?

    Seth Long Adventurer

      Hello Pharos Community,

       

      I've recently been tasked with taking over some of the Administrative functions of the Pharos server and software deployment on campus.  We are quite a bit behind in pushing updates out.  Students haven't been able to log into our Pharos portal online using the newer versions of Safari in over a year.  I understand there's an update that fixes this, but my supervisor wants to set up a test environment so we can make sure everything works properly before pushing it live to the campus.

       

      Since I'm new to this, does anyone have recommendations on where to start for setting up this test environment?  I'd really like to keep things up to date and running smoothly so the students have a better experience using Pharos to print on campus.

       

      Please let me know if there is any additional information I need to provide.

       

      Thank you for your assistance, 

       

      Seth Long

      Client Technology Analyst I

      Information Technology Department

      Western University of Health Sciences

        • Re: Pharos test environment?
          Jeff Herald Guide

          Hi Seth,

           

          I can give you some general guidelines.  You'll want to replicate your production environment, as much as makes sense, for the level of testing you want to do.  If you have multiple servers in prod, you should have then you will likely want to have at least one of each type (principal, print, web servers, etc.) in your test environment.  If you have your database on a separate server, you'll probably want to replicate that configuration too.  It also depends on what it is that you want to test.  Sometimes to test what you want, you can use one server.  If you want to test client/server interaction, you may not need to set up a complicated server-by-server replication.  Part of this depends on the resources you have at your disposal.  Do you have enough servers or virtual resources, etc.?   Of course, if your production system has only one server, then just set up your test system the same way.  For some resources, such as printers/copiers, release stations, clients, you may only need to pull them in temporarily for a test.  We at Pharos encourage our customers to have a test system to work through problems and upgrade processes before affecting the live system.  I hope this is helpful.

           

          -Jeff Herald

          Pharos Systems

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Pharos test environment?
            jorge@nyu.edu Wayfarer

            hi seth. we have a setup with about 12 print servers and a clustered database. our dev environment is only two print servers and a db server running on a single server. our thought process was that when doing updates we want to test functionality of the software and the interaction between the different components which is why we slimmed our dev environment down so much. ideally if you can import your existing database as well that will be helpful because if you make changes to how your importing users and stuff like that you can perform all that testing in dev and have it mimic exactly what will happen in production.

             

            we also use our dev environment to do testing with other systems we tie into. so for instance we use blackboard here so when theres an upgrade on the blackboard side we can use the dev environment to test against there dev environment to make sure that once their production environment gets upgraded we wont have any issues.

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              • Re: Pharos test environment?
                Seth Long Adventurer

                Thank you for the advice! 

                 

                We actually have three print servers.  The first one is the main database/SQL server, which also hosts our driver/package download and printer shares.  This is only accessible internally.  A second server mirrors this one and serves our second campus.

                The third server lives in the DMZ and hosts My Print Center to the external Internet.  This does not have any database/SQL information for security reasons.  It's running IIS and links back to the first server.

                We have access to setting up another VM, but would it be complicated to set up another principal Pharos server with SQL on it?

                 

                I appreciate any additional tips you can provide.

                 

                Thank you,

                 

                Seth Long

                Client Technology Analyst I

                Information Technology Department

                Western University of Health Sciences

                  • Re: Pharos test environment?
                    lpadgett Scout

                    Hi Seth,

                     

                      I have had a lot of success running a cloned dev. version of our clustered server with identical daily user account/ popup functionality scripting.  You can write a pretty basic print server backup/restore script with the PrintBRM.exe tool.  It also has manual GUI options but I like using it to select which print server you want to backup if you have multiples. That way all of the print driver options are saved exactly as they are in your existing environment without any manual changes(ex. stapling options)  It also runs outside of my snapshot backup on a monthly routine. Having a smaller test system has really saved me when fixing Bb connection issues, scripting improvements, upgrades, etc.

                     

                    Loyd Padgett

                    Print Systems Administrator

                    University of the Arts

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful