If you use a "hot site" for DR, how does the testing process typically work, and does it differ widely between providers?
With a hot site, as with some of the current generation "cloud" or managed hosting solution providers, you arrange for a certain amount of test time over the course of the year as part of your subscription agreement. The quantity of test time provided, the roles that service provider personnel will play, the specifics on how tests need to be scheduled, as well as the minutiae of security, logistics and communications, will vary from provider to provider.
I believe that too little is being done to validate the measures that service providers are deploying to safeguard your applications and data -- especially when it comes to platform and infrastructure cloud service providers. They all claim to provide Tier 1 data centers and comprehensive professional operations capabilities, but very few clients actually ever travel to the cloud provider sites and confirm that they are getting anything more than some old servers racked in a bent-up cage at the end of a row in some musty old managed hosting facility.
This was first published in August 2013