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No testing, no DR
The planning part of DR is relatively easy compared to testing the plan. Testing is the part of DR that's often dreaded and, unfortunately, too often avoided. Yet without proper testing, one might as well not bother with the planning because the likelihood of successful execution is small.
Some fundamental considerations for testing include:
- Test application recovery, not just data recovery (think application interdependency)
- Let nonprimary individuals perform the recovery to validate procedures and documentation
- Construct multiple disaster scenarios and employ role-playing
- Establish a positive DR mindset: uncovering (and fixing) problems is a good thing
- Track metrics to measure and chart improvement
This was first published in January 2007