We are setting up new servers for our dev, qa and prod core and I am looking for some best practices/insight into how different enterprises set up and manage their development and QA environments. In the past, we would take a few devices and add them to our dev or qa core to do testing. This has seemed to work fine but then we felt we didn't have a true mirrored environment to prod because we just added them ad-hoc. Now we are thinking about adding ALL of our dev devices to our dev core and QA devices to QA core but don't know if we would be creating more unnecessary work for ourselves.
If you wouldn't mind sharing your setup (and an estimated total number of endpoints that you are managing), that would be great!
We do exactly as you do currently. Only a handful of devices are ever on the QA system. When a new update comes out, we test Deployment, Software Distribution, Patch and DTS. Once those are shown to work with no problems, we update PROD. I don't think it's worth the effort to test ALL your systems. That's a lot of work. And in our case, VMs really help with the testing regimen.
We're about to do complete our SU3 update since everything seemingly works on QA. Naturally, we sometimes pick up the pace of the QA-to-PROD phase if there are defects corrected on which we've been waiting.