Test and Production environment - Z-wave best practice?

What is the best practice for maintaining a production and a test installation with Z-wave?
I was thinking two Raspberry Pi with openhabian and just move the Z-wave controller from the production to the test environment when I want to try out a new version. Is this how you do it?

My assumption is that you can only bind a z-wave device to a specific controller, and this prevents you from having two separate controllers plugged in two separate environments controlling the same device(s). Correct?

Last year when I was preparing to move from Home Assistant to openHAB I did something similar. I had both programs on the same Pi but only ran one at a time.

What type of testing do you envision? You can set up riles & items, etc. without needing a controller.

I now have a second controller & system I use for testing openHAB versions, etc. I actually moved my production system to a VM on a server so my original Pi is my current test system. I am focusing more on troubleshooting technical issues & installation practices currently.

Mainly to do testing before moving on to a new release in production to ensure it’s stable. Since the HW is so cheap I will use a second Pi that also can be used as a backup if one fails.

You are best off with keeping separate ZWave networks.
Don’t move devices between controllers that will affect network stability and result in all sorts of horrible problems.
Frankly there’s so little benefit from having a test system that it isn’t worth the risk it brings.

Ok thanks Markus for the warning, but can you please elaborate on what can go wrong? I thought that the z-wave usb adapter maintained all connections with the z-wave devices, thus making it possible to move the adapter from one OpenHAB server to another as long as the thing-configuration is identical. If this won’t work, does that mean that an OpenHAB-restore after a server crash would require factory resetting all z-wave devices and adding them one by one again?

No it’s right devices are stored on the controller not in OH.
Remember to back the stick up, too.


Keep in mind that if you move your Z-Wave devices over to the test system, then you might not be gaining much from having the production environment online at the same time (since you’ve taken all its toys away). And if you have other devices that are simultaneously in two separate openHAB systems, you could run into some crazy rule behaviour.

It might be easier to just clone the SD card before making big changes, knowing that you can easily go back to the starting point if something doesn’t work.

I upgraded to an RPi4 a few months ago, so my previous RPi3 is my backup. However, I keep it in use running Pi-Hole and CUPS. If my RPi4 dies, I could live without Pi-Hole for the 2-3 days it would take to get a new one.