Once a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is created there is a tendency for management to relax. If you don’t intend to test your disaster recovery plan, there is really no point in having one. The cost required to establish a plan is wasted if no one knows how to execute the recovery plan if and when disaster strikes. When was the last time you enacted your DRP? And if you have, did the applications, data and services return in the proscribed amount of time?
TechPatrol recommends regular testing of Disaster Recovery Plans by simulating various disaster scenarios be it loss of a critical Application, loss of an entire Server or Server room, or full loss of the entire office or building.
This is the time to pretend whilst keeping your operations running as normal. We essentially utilise spare standby Servers to restore your IT Systems from the latest backup sets.
We rehearse and verify your backup and recovery operations and keep up to date full DRP documentation.
Once all systems are restored we test all hardware, software and ensure that all services and applications have started. We then run other post mortem checks on the application level and review what is working and what may not.
For the final phase of testing and sign off we ask our customers to log into the testing environment to verify that all areas are working satisfactorily.
If you’ve only recently established a disaster recovery plan, quarterly tests are in order until the wrinkles are ironed out. Once you feel confident in the process, semi-annual or annual tests should be sufficient.