If you are self hosted, if you are virtualized and have volume snapshotting enabled on your storage, you can just bring the last snapshot up and call it a test server. This mechanism really helps fixing unusual emergency issues super fast. Literally minutes as opposed to hours/days.
There are several things you need to do to prepare for such tests:
#1 make sure Encompass is not a part of the domain. If you leave it in the domain and leave such a server running longer than 40 days, your AD controller will chose one and reject the other.
#2 make sure you assign a different IP when you turn server on before connecting to the network. It's an identical replica, so it will likely have the same IP by default.
#3 change Encompass SMTP server so that it does not trigger emails.
#4 disable any plugins that update other production servers based on Encompass changes, or isolate the test server network from production.2. Replicating settings via database/file transfer:
1. Copy all EncompassData folders besides the Loans. This is ~ 1-2Gb and can be just copied on the server and then zipped together.
2. Do a backup of EMDB. It's also a reasonable size like 1-10Gb. Can also be zipped really well. Both of these will fit on a DVD and can be shipped to you.
You will have to install a brand new server, do some minor tests on it to make sure Encompass functions. Then shut down the server service, replace EncompassData and restore/overwrite DB. Bring back your old loan folders. Then restart the server and rebuild all the loan folders you have on the test server.
Please check this article about fixing orphaned database users. You may need to do this after backup/restore: SQL Server - Fix Error 15023
in particular, you need: EXEC sp_change_users_login 'Auto_Fix', 'emdbuser', NULL, 'YourPassword'
After that you'll have 100% functional replica of what you have in production.