Chapter 10. Testing the Recovery Plan

And you thought you were done when you finished writing your plan! You've only just begun.

Testing a DR plan is the only way to know if it's any good. In this chapter, I describe the different types of testing that you can use, from simple paper tests to full-on cutover testing.

And, even after you finish testing, you aren't done with the plan. But, as with a good murder mystery, I shouldn't spoil the ending by giving it away (no, the butler didn't do it).

Testing the DR Plan

Disaster recovery plans aren't much good if they don't work. And if they don't work, you pretty much waste the time devoted to their development.

Decision makers in businesses, especially executives, like certainty. They want to have confidence that things will go as planned. And although no one plans a disaster, execs want to know that the recovery effort after a disaster will work.

The survival of the business may depend on it.

To see if your DR plan will work, you can always take it to a fortune teller, but I wouldn't put much stock in that. Why not just try it?

Why test a DR plan?

Disaster recovery plans contain lists of procedures and other information that an emergency response team follows when a natural or man-made disaster occurs. The purpose of the plan is to recover the IT systems and infrastructure that support business processes critical to the organization's survival. Because disasters don't occur very often, you seldom can clearly tell whether those DR plans will ...

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