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BCDR – Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – Part 2: DR Testing
Does the thought of preparing for your next disaster recovery test stress you out? Does a lot of that stress come from the fact that you can’t remember when you did your last disaster recovery test (DR test)?
We understand. Performing these tests is a little bit like exercising. You know you should be doing it regularly. You keep thinking you’ll make time for it. But it’s not easy or fun—and you seem to be doing OK without it. So you put it off for a while longer.
We’re not here to judge your mile time or the number of pullups you can do. But we are here to warn you about the dangers of putting off your next DR test. You never know when the next server failure, natural disaster, or malware attack will bring your business operations to a halt. And you need to know that you’ll be able to get your operations back up and running as quickly as possible. So there’s no getting around it: you should take a careful look at your current disaster recovery strategy.
3 Tips for Your Next Disaster Recovery Test
If you already have the ideal DR test plan in place but simply haven’t executed it in a while, then it’s simply a matter of devoting the manpower and you can probably stop reading this article.
But most companies have holes in their test plans—gaps that are challenging enough to prevent them from testing as often as they should. How often is “as often as they should”? Aim to strike a balance between testing so frequently that you’re disrupting normal IT operations, and testing so rarely that you’re certain at least one element of your disaster recovery plan will fail miserably.
Whether that means monthly, quarterly, or annually is up to you. But once you’ve set your DR testing schedule, your next question should be, “Are we ready for our next disaster recovery test?” Here are three tips to help ensure you can answer, “Yes!”
- You’re equipped to test for a wide range of disruptions. Even if your servers are housed in an area with few natural disasters, don’t assume that you can simply focus on recovering from a burned-out box and ignore other threats. Within the category of cyber attacks, for example, there’s a huge variety of emerging threats, each of which will place different demands on your disaster recovery systems. In addition, power outages can happen anywhere. And what about a good old-fashioned plumbing leak? If your server has water damage, can you recover within your recovery time objective (RTO)?
- You’re using multiple layers of protection. Data backups are essential—but they don’t cover everything. Are you also backing up your applications? Your operating system? And even if you’re backing up everything (kudos!), are you storing those backups in a single network location? Or are you also taking the precaution of copying them to the cloud as well as offline storage such as tape or removable USB drives?
- You can get help when you’re stuck. Suppose you’re doing everything we’ve suggested so far. Suppose you’re using the best backup technology money can buy and copying your backups to multiple locations. But when you try to restore your cloud backups, they’re failing, whereas your other restores are working just fine. Nobody on your IT team can figure out what’s wrong. What’s your next move?
We know you’re not willing to say, “Oh well, close enough!” and then simply forget about it until your next disaster recovery test. That’s why you should know how important it is to work with a disaster recovery partner that can help you through your toughest technical challenges.
Work with a Partner Who Walks You Through the Process
Not all disaster recovery technology vendors provide robust support throughout the testing process. But Storix does.
When we say we support our Adaptable System Recovery platform, we don’t just mean that if it breaks, we’ll fix it for you. (That’s the bare minimum any software vendor should be doing.) We mean we’ll actually take the time to walk you through your disaster recovery challenges so that you be confident you’re 100% ready for your next disaster recovery test—and, if it comes to that, for your next disaster.
We’d love to hear about your disaster recovery challenges and help you overcome them. When you’re ready to talk, give us a call at (877) 786-7491.