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We have SharePoint 2013 Production and Development environments. Prod is on premise whereas Dev is on Cloud.

We have Web, App, OWA & SQL servers in both farms. Apart from Hardware specs configurations (which off course are superior for Production environment than Dev) I need to make at software level both are exactly on same page. Also the data in both cases will be different production having live data. e.g. –

  1. Windows and SharePoint patches are exactly same.
  2. Same Services are Running on both farms
  3. Same SharePoint Features are activated on both ends etc.

What other things should I consider to make sure my both environment are replica. This will greatly help in testing any changes like Software or patch updates testing on dev environment first then on production.

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Assuming your cloud solution is NOT SharePoint Online/O365. Here are some of the key elements that make the DEV and PROD environments in sync.

  1. Content databases on same SQL Server versions
  2. Custom and third party Solutions (wsp)
  3. Master pages
  4. Service applications in central admin (Business Data Connectivity, Secure Store etc)
  5. Windows and SharePoint updates.
  6. Configuration in central admin. Example SMTP, Thresholds, Quotas, InfoPath etc
  7. Managed and Service accounts
  8. Configuration for third party solutions like Nintex.
  9. Firewall settings to allow seamless access to cloud SharePoint. Firewall settings can block ajax calls when expanding group by columns in list views.
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I would do the following things

  • if Production is using loadbalancer then i will make sure i have web application configured for Load Balancer. sometime custom solution create problem with loadbalncer so u need that scenrio test in Dev.
  • Authentication method should be same in both farm
  • all services you are using in Production should be configured in Dev as well with same configuration.
  • i would periodaiclly refresh dev farm with Production data.I will use content database backup and restore method.

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