We are kicking around the idea of using workflows to automate, as much as possible, duplicating entire E2E test/dev environments running on VMware. Some of the prod hosts are physical, many are virtual, but we could be talking dozens of machines for each environment all needing to get cloned from their prod counterparts by a click of a button. And no, snapshots are not an option in this world. The prod environment consists of a myriad of different OS's, storage infrastructure, applications, etc., all needing to be duplicated in a rather short amount of time (say 4 hours) and I think the infrastructure part of this is estimatable, but we want to exploit the workflow technology to streamline and customize each environment. Just wondering if people have seen this done or know of anyone doing it. The idea isn't to apply "incremental" changes to the dev instances (even though that may sound more practical) the requirement as I've been told is to blow the old stuff away and copy in all new from prod images.
They also said protecting the dev/test VMs isn't required since the goal is to make them "disposable".