Test to Fail
As one of the most important steps you can take to ensure success in the event of a real disaster, testing is the benchmark of any good DR plan. The worst time to find out that a backup didn’t work is when you really need it. As part of your overall business strategy, disaster recovery testing should be done frequently to help identify problems with that plan so that there are no surprises during a real disaster.
In an article published by George Crump, president of Storage Switzerland titled "Disaster recovery plan testing: Will your plan work?" disaster recovery plan testing is critical to identifying changes in the environment so that the plan can be updated or modified to include any new situations and to accommodate any altered conditions.” A DR plan has no value if it doesn't work when needed or if only a subset of the protected data can be recovered and recreated.
Things to consider in testing:
Time: plan for the time needed to simulate a disaster and test the competence of your disaster recovery plan
Team Assignments: ensure that everyone included in your disaster recovery plan knows their role and what's expected of them
Test: inform all parties, take the system down, test and prepare for recovery
Restore Data: execute your disaster recovery plan making notes of what didn't work and the time it took to recover
Analyze Results: study what worked and what didn't, make changes where necessary
Should a disaster occur, testing your disaster recovery plan is critical to your organization's ability to recover lost data and minimize downtime, allowing you to return to normal business operations.
If you would like more information about disaster recovery, contact us.