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
Do I need to test my DR plan?
Short answer? Yes. 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.
Ransomware is a major threat to organizations today, so having a recovery plan in place is of the utmost importance. Here we explain how to test a ransomware recovery plan and take that extra step to safeguard your data. Continue Reading
In order to have an effective cloud disaster recovery plan, an organization should have a complete strategy for effectively getting data to the cloud, determining when a disaster has taken place, and recovering that data. However, without testing, all that planning might be for naught. Continue Reading
When planning a potential recovery from ransomware, testing is vital. This can be even truer for SMBs, which tend to be more susceptible to ransomware attacks. Even with a tighter budget, discovery recovery plan testing should be a high priority for an SMB. Continue Reading
Testing is one of the most important disaster recovery planning best practices, but is also one of the most overlooked. Continue Reading
3On the market-
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.
Enterprises value certain disaster recovery tools more than others, and many don't test their DR plans nearly as much as they should. Continue Reading
Put these practices to use
Download our free templates to see outlines for testing and planning scenarios. Each template provides a thorough outline of what to do to prepare for a data disaster, but can be customized to suit your organization.
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.
- Natural disaster recovery
- Risk mitigation
- Tabletop exercise (TTX)
- emergency communications plan (EC plan)
- Disaster recovery plan
- Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)