Is a tabletop exercise sufficient for DR testing?
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Tabletop exercising is one of several testing options for technology disaster recovery (DR) plans. It is generally the least complicated of the DR test/exercise options, and must be structured to address the specific issues your IT organization wants to address.
At a high level, a tabletop exercise gathers the relevant subject matter experts (SMEs) in a room to review the overall policies and procedures in a DR plan to validate them and ensure that all members of the IT recovery team are aware of their roles and responsibilities in a disaster.
The exercise may also review and validate activities to ensure that IT staff can safely evacuate the data center and/or company offices; validate that the contact lists for staff, vendors and other stakeholders are accurate; assess the training needs of IT recovery team members; ensure that the DR plan focuses on the most critical IT systems and resources; ensure that the DR plan addresses the company's mission-critical business processes; ensure that the recovery and restoration strategies are still valid and actionable; and ensure that the plan's recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) are still valid.
If additional issues such as procuring equipment and systems need to be addressed, items to include in an exercise may be to review the contact lists of vendors, ensure that purchase orders are available, and ensure that funding is available for obtaining equipment on an emergency basis. A tabletop exercise may also include a high-level discussion of the critical systems, data, databases, network resources, applications and other IT assets that the plan addresses, ensuring that they are still valid, and that the plan addresses those resources. DR exercising of production systems and devices is much more complicated, and usually requires a detailed script (sometimes called a playbook) that outlines the step-by-step procedures to recover and restart disrupted systems.
Dig Deeper on Disaster Recovery Planning-Management
Related Q&A from Paul Kirvan
A call tree can be an important piece of disaster recovery planning. Follow these steps for call tree design and execution to ensure your company is ...continue reading
Emergency communications is one of the first actions to be taken following an incident. Find out what happens when an organization doesn't have an ...continue reading
Business disaster recovery plans can identify opportunities for process improvement, and can be employed as reference documents for use in other new ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.