Our clients are often looking to build a separate instance of their production copy of ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus on-premise for testing purposes. This is a pretty straightforward process but there are a few things you do need to be aware of before attempting.  

Its all the same

There are a few ways you could duplicate your production system:

  • Restore a ServiceDesk Plus product backup
  • Clone a virtual machine
  • Clone a backend database (MS SQL)

In any event please bear in mind, whatever process you choose, the duplicate has exactly the same settings. As you don’t want the two ServiceDesk Plus systems competing you might want to consider a few of the following things before attempting:

  • Temporarily disable Inbound mail fetching before duplicating your production instance
  • Reconfigure outbound mail settings to prevent any notifications or scheduled reports being sent from the test server on startup
  • Disable the Zoho Analytics integration
  • Disable any ManageEngine integrations, such as Desktop Central

Its usually a good idea to disable the ManageEngine Windows Service on the test server to prevent any accidental startups which might immediately affect your production instance! You may also need to isolate the test server when starting ServiceDesk Plus initially to allow you to make the necessary configuration changes before connecting to the live network.

If you are performing a data restore the restore utility does prompt a message asking if the backup is being restored to a production or test instance but this only disables the outbound mail settings if you choose ‘test’ so please beware!

PostgreSQL Database

With a default PostgreSQL database deployment of ServiceDesk Plus on a single server you simply need to build a new instance of ServiceDesk Plus on the new test server using an installer for the same build as your current production system, please see the archive directory for all previous ServiceDesk Plus versions. Once operational simply restore the backup copy taken of the production instance with the ServiceDesk Plus backup utility ‘backupData.bat’, usually located in the ‘/bin’ folder of the ServiceDesk Plus application folder.

MS SQL

For a completely separate test server you could build a new test server with a new instance of the correct build of ServiceDesk Plus (this will use PostgreSQL on the initial installation). If you want to keep things entirely separate you could also install a copy of MS SQL Server* on the same or separate server and run the ‘/bin’ folder ‘ChangeDBServer.bat’ utility to create a new ServiceDesk Plus database on the MS SQL Server instance.

Once you have started and stopped the ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus windows service on the test server you should be able to perform the same database restore process as the PostgreSQL as previously described using your data backup.

As an alternative, if your production instance of ServiceDesk Plus is a virtual machine, you could clone the application server and create a renamed copy of the production MS SQL ServiceDesk Plus database. Using the the ‘/bin’ folder ‘ChangeDBServer.bat’ utility you should be able to connect directly to the copy database.

  • for database sizes less than 10GB you could elect to use MS SQL Server Express

Test License

The final task is to login to your new ServiceDesk Plus test server instance and apply your test license – these licenses are available at discounted rates and do not necessarily need to be for the same number of Technicians and Assets as your production system, it will depend  largely on your testing requirements.


f you need any more information, have any additional questions or require a quotation for a test license please feel free to contact us here.

This article is relevant to:
Service Desk

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