How to Test Your Data Disaster Recovery Plan

By July 9, 2015 Learn No Comments

Your data disaster recovery plan probably looks great on paper. But a well-written plan can often hide oversights, inefficiencies, and inconsistencies. That’s why it’s imperative to run the plan through a variety of testing scenarios to evaluate its efficacy before you face a real data disaster. Make sure you do each one of these tests:

  1. Walkthrough Test. Your data disaster recovery plan should include strict policies and procedures outlining who will be involved in the recovery and what actions they will take. Gather this team together and have them actually walk through each one of the steps. It will quickly become apparent if a crucial response is missing.
  2. Simulation Test. Identify the hardware and software included in your data disaster recovery plan, and then run each piece of IT through a disaster simulation. Look for vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could compromise these technologies following a disaster, and be sure to include attendant technologies like cooling units and ventilation systems.
  3. Parallel Test. Conducting regular backups should be a primary feature of your data disaster recovery plan. Verify that your backups are as thorough as necessary by auditing several of them. Confirm that the data generated on any given day perfectly matches the backup created for that day. Looking for inconsistencies can help you solidify your backup strategy.
  4. Interruption Test. This test aims to be as close to an actual data disaster as possible. Pick a time when you can afford to take several of your systems offline, and then disable or disrupt your IT infrastructure in ways that mimic a hardware failure, weather-related incident or other likely disaster scenario. Then run through your data disaster recovery plan exactly as it’s documented and carefully record what works and what does not.

How well did your data disaster recovery plan serve you? Do you trust it to reliably recover your data in the wake of every conceivable disaster? If you have any doubts, contact SiteB Data.