Common disaster recovery test mistakes to avoid

Here's a checklist to have close by during your next disaster recovery testing operation from independent disaster recovery expert Paul Kirvan.

What are the most common mistakes you see when conducting DR testing?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but typical mistakes include neglecting to do the following:

  • Define the scope and objectives of the test.
  • Develop a scenario for the test.
  • Develop and document the test process.
  • Alert other departments of the test.
  • Define team responsibilities in the test.
  • Ensure that all elements needed in the test, e.g., networks, databases, firewalls, load balancers, data, applications, hardware, have been prepared for the test.
  • Contact all relevant test participants.
  • Get approval for the test.
  • Complete an after-action report on the test results.
  • Update the DR plan based on test findings and lessons learned.
  • Brief management on test outcomes.
  • Schedule the next test.


This was first published in September 2013

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