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How expensive are cloud disaster recovery tests and why are they needed?

Cloud disaster recovery testing and its costs vary depending upon the type of provider you use. Every provider has its own policies, pricing structure and services.

Every provider has its policies, pricing structure and way of doing things. The providers I have worked with do...

not supply special pricing for disaster recovery tests. As such, costs vary depending upon the type of provider used.

Some cloud-based disaster recovery as a service providers are actually little more than backup as a service providers. A few of these providers have flat-rate pricing, but most charge based on data storage and IOPS.

In other words, there is a monthly fee for the volume of data stored in the cloud. There is another fee for the storage bandwidth consumed. This pricing structure ensures customers pay for data at rest, but pay a higher rate for backing up new data or for performing recovery operations.

When it comes to disaster recovery tests, it is the storage I/O-related pricing that generally dictates the cost of the testing. After all, a recovery test doesn't do anything to increase the volume of data, but it does create a substantial amount of storage I/O.

Other cloud providers will allow you to actually fail over entire virtual machines to the cloud. These providers typically bill customers based on the resources they consume. This includes things like storage I/O, CPU time and memory.

There are obviously costs associated with failover testing, because the testing process causes billable resources to be consumed. The cost for doing so, however, is generally somewhat low.

Performing a recovery test is different from running a production workload in the cloud. Disaster recovery tests tend to consume comparatively few CPU and memory resources, which helps to hold down the cost of the testing.

Next Steps

Why disaster recovery testing is important

Test your disaster recovery plan correctly

Disaster recovery testing best practices

This was last published in June 2015

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