In some larger organizations the cost of a single disaster recovery (DR) test can easily exceed $100,000.
To control costs, companies may conduct several smaller component tests during the year and a full annual test. Others extend the testing cycle across several years. "As part of our business-continuity plan, we are obligated to test each business application at least once every three years," reports Dan Traynor, director of IT infrastructure services at Southern Company, an energy firm in Atlanta.
Is once every three years enough?
This feature from Storage magazine outlines some DR testing challenges. The following action points should be first and foremost on the minds of channel professionals helping customers address
- Exercise the DR plan to reveal shortcomings and weaknesses. It's not a pass/fail process.
- Review and adjust DR plans to reflect changes in the enterprise. DR plans are not static.
- Document every recovery step. Seemingly minuscule details can bring the recovery effort to a standstill.
- Make sure people in your customer's organization understand their roles in the DR process.
- Designate a DR coordinator and an established chain of command. The ability to make fast decisions during a disaster is crucial for a rapid and successful recovery.
- Always have a plan A, B and C.
For detailed DR planning considerations, read the full feature from Storage magazine: Disaster recovery: Test, test and test some more.
This was first published in February 2007