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Best Practises for staging configuration changes?

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Hi all,


found this thread ( and it has some nuggets, but our situation seems subtly different.


So, we have this physical production grid consisting of a master, candidate, and a couple of cluster members dedicated to various internal and external clients.

We also have a reduced number of virtual appliances to use as a permanent test grid. (For compliance and other reasons, there really is no debating with regulators here about the need to have a permanent test/qa system and about the need to test _every_ config change (as opposed to content change) in such a test system, before rolling it out into production.)


Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to best transport configurations from one environment to the other.

I was thinking along the lines of:

- having a baseline for each environment (maybe VM golden image, backup or the like) with very basic configuration that is specific to the environment

- exporting into one or more files grid configuration settings, service configuration settings ... maybe having a set of scripts that transform environment-specific information that cannot be eliminated from the export ... then import those files into the production system

- exporting zone content from the production system, occasionally, and transport it back into qa


Is there anything (advice, tools, documentation, product features) to support something like that? We're talking DNS and NTP mostly, for now.)



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