You've created a thorough, efficient and reliable disaster recovery plan that will protect your organization's data from potential disasters, ranging from weather-related outages to ransomware. That means you're done, right? Not exactly.
The next big step should be implementing a disaster recovery testing plan that ensures your recovery efforts work correctly and meet expectations. Disaster recovery testing can clue you in if the plan isn't meeting recovery point objective/recovery time objective requirements, and enable you to make the necessary changes to get things back up and running quickly. A DR test can also point out vulnerabilities that may need to be addressed.
How frequently you need to test will differ from company to company, but experts agree that regular DR testing is the best way to validate a disaster recovery plan and keep it up to date. Some organizations may test once a year and find that sufficient, depending on their environment. But it's important to make time for testing when there are changes to the infrastructure that could affect the recovery process.
When considering the benefits of DR plan testing, you might wonder what could keep an organization from regular testing. In the past, disaster recovery testing could be a much more laborious, invasive process that involved outages during testing. However, the wide range of recovery tools available today means there is little effect on operations during testing.
With the links below, gain a better understanding of why a disaster recovery testing plan is important, how to conduct your testing efforts, and learn about some tools and terms that you will encounter along the way.
Do I need to test my DR plan?
Short answer? Probably. For the longer answer, check out the links below. Chief among the benefits of testing is the ability to ensure your plan is working, but that's far from the only reason to run a test of your DR plan. When done properly, a disaster recovery testing plan can keep your recovery strategy updated and even prevent major outages in the future.
Without testing, all the disaster recovery planning in the world might not mean much. Along with proving that a plan works, tests help gauge how the system reacts to infrastructure changes. Continue Reading
Streamline the testing process
Now that you're settled in for testing, there are a number of best practices and tips for conducting the process in a way that works best for your organization. The links below offer advice for building a comprehensive disaster recovery testing plan or strengthening the one you have.
Testing is one of the most important disaster recovery planning best practices, but is also one of the most overlooked. Continue Reading
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Tools that can help
Testing a DR plan doesn't have to be a chore. There are a number of technologies available that can help ease the process and make testing a breeze.
Related terms to know
If you're still a little unsure about some of the technologies or processes referenced in this guide, or just looking for a refresh, this glossary of common terms can help.