What Is Disaster Recovery Testing And Why Is It Important?

Disaster Recovery Testing

The time when all the important information was stored in archives passes. Computers appear as more reliable places to store sensitive data, but there is still no guarantee that machines won’t break down and data won’t be lost. Disaster recovery involves preventing businesses from data loss in case of natural or artificial disasters, hardware and software failures, or human errors. Today, we will learn what disaster recovery testing is and why it is essential to implement a disaster recovery plan into your workflow.

Disaster recovery testing at the glance

Generally, disaster recovery testing provides simulation of IT failures or any other failures to evaluate the effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan. The main goal of this measure is to check up on whether a company will restore a workflow and operations within the determined period. It can give you insights into how your infrastructure will continue to work in the event when some business departments become unavailable. This way, you can fix any concerns and issues before a real disaster or failure comes.

Regular checking is key in disaster recovery testing, so make sure you conduct testing at least several times per year. It is not a secret that businesses tend to change over time, and a DR plan must be changed, too. Apart from your company’s technical side and hardware, be sure the employees are also aware of your disaster recovery plan. It allows having more collaborative work in the case of a disaster.

Types of disaster recovery testing

There are three principal types of disaster recovery testing that every business owner needs to consider.

1. DR plan review

A plan owner and a team of workers should carefully review the disaster recovery plan before starting implementation. It is needed to find any missing components and discrepancies.

2. Tabletop exercise

Another type of disaster recovery testing goes to the exercises. These measures are essential to walk through a DR plan with all the employees. It helps define how every worker should act in the case of an emergency and cover any inconsistencies in planning.

3. Simulation

Simulation of disasters or failures remains the working solution to determine if the measures will work in conditions close to the actual emergency. This is also helpful to understand if the team is ready to restore operations and activities on time to ensure business continuity. Besides, simulation is a great way to find out if there are enough workers in your team to cope with the possible disasters on time.

Disaster recovery testing checklist

1. Create a team for testing with experts, and determine goals and measures to analyze them after testing.

2. Figure out what you should test.

3. Make sure the testing environment is prepared and won’t impact operational systems.

4. Schedule disaster recovery testing in case it will take much time.

5. Do some practical exercises to solve any potential issues.

6. When concerns appear, review testing carefully.

7. Do some records after testing in terms of what worked and what didn’t, what problems arose, and so on.

8. Upgrade your disaster recovery and business continuity plans when you receive some insights after a testing day.