I have about 3 servers that are probably almost 10 years old, all using code what one might consider worst-practices for programming's sake.
I'm terrified of making changes to the thing (production servers have always been the development platform before I got here, and I really want to change this), but we have no real way to emulate the server perfectly other than use the thing.
So we have to change the website it's running, and I really don't want to go "Oops." Advice on how to do something like migrate these 3 beasts into VMs on my desktop or something where I can safely do some development work without feeling like I'm the star of Mission Imposable, hanging from a thread over laser beams and sweat dripping off my face as I carefully do my work?
To give you an idea of what I mean by worst-practices... we have 14 copies of the "main" block of code, a 14,000 line monster of "please, repeat yourself" code worked on by seven developers over ten years, all sitting in the root directory of the production web server. I need to change this, I need to make serious fixes, but it's like playing kaltoh while being shot full of mind-altering drugs. Help?
Servers are windows2000 server, database is MSSQL 2008, servers run IIS with PHP and ASP. A hundred applications I have no knowledge about share the server space. One server manages our AD. Sharepoint exists but isn't used. Some "log me in" software that nobody knows about exists on there. Postgres is running for some reason. Firewall software is on there. Exchange 2008 is on there. Antivirus server is on there... in all honesty, I just want to replicate the website.