You are correct, you will be setting up the same as the production system.
As in regards to resources, you are free to add or take off as much as you wish, however, this is strongly correlated with the type of license you have.
I hope that will bring a shade of light into the issue.
I would add that if you are using a Core license for Tableau Server, then you are not permitted to use the DEV and TEST for Tableau workbook development and testing. That kind of activity has to be done on the PROD Server using Sites. Customers usually have a TEST Site and DEV Site where they can progress workbooks under development into the Prod Site. If you have a User Based or Role Based License, then you can use the DEV and TEST for developing workbooks.
This is a recent EULA change.
Core licensing has been deprecated and limited sale. User based licensing is the standard now and future features focussed on this use case. Core will be updated but some features won't work or appear with a Core license like creating workbooks from scratch as one example.
I do not agree with statement above. It is my understanding that if you have core license, you are Ok to set 3 Tableau server env (Dev/Test/Prod or Test/Prod/DR)
Mark, Heyward is correct.
As you state, 1 core licence can be used across a Prod + 2 other non Prod servers, but what you use those non Prod for under the terms of the EULA is 'restricted', although there currently is nothing within the functionality that stops you. So you can use your non Prod servers for testing new features/ server config changes / performing & testing upgrades etc, but they shouldn't be used within the 'development lifecycle' ie developers publishing a new workbook, that is then viewed and 'tested' by the business before releasing to Prod environment. EULA snippet below :
3.3.2 Non-Production Environments: You may use the Server Software in a technical environment and on the platforms and configurations specified in the Documentation, solely for internal development and testing in connection with the functionality of your licensed Software, or for disaster recovery purposes (“Non-Production Environment”). If your license for Server Software is Core-Based, the creation, sharing, viewing, refreshing and/or revising of visualizations or data sources and any similar content development or review is not a permitted use for the Non-Production Environment. For the avoidance of doubt, the foregoing usage restrictions do not apply if your license for Server Software is User-Based. Your installation, activation or use of a copy of the Software in a Non-Production Environment is limited to the same Authorized Users and/or permitted number of Cores as provided under Section 3.1 above. Your use of the Server Software in a NonProduction Environment may be concurrent with your use of the licensed Software in a Production Environment and such use is conditioned on you having an authorized license for the Software. You are only entitled to two (2) Non-Production Environments under this Agreement. Any additional licenses for Non-Production Environments other than what is described in this Section 3.3 can be purchased by you and shall be subject to the additional terms and conditions contained in the applicable Ordering Document.
I don't know how long it's been like this, as my old company had a very simple set up, so this wasn't an issue. Whether this was spelled out to existing core licensed customers when it did change is another question.