Plan a few mini-tests to see if the elements of the plan work, validate your assumptions and documentation.
For example if you want to test if a system will work when the servers crash get everyone to back-up their files and pull out the network cable, it’s the same as losing them but without the permanency.
The first full DR test you do will almost inevitably fail, it’s not your fault (unless it was!) but you need to set expectations. It’s time for the latest installment of our six-part series on how to launch an effective backup and disaster recovery strategy. Now that you’ve identified the key elements of your backup plan it’s time to start setting it up.

Now you have a full disaster recovery strategy that will protect your critical data, and a step by step plan for putting it into action. Make sure you restore files as a test every 3 months and ensure that all relevant data is included in the backup. Last week we talked about how to define your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Begin by reviewing all of your settings, requirements and goals for your disaster recovery plan, and capturing them in a strategy document. And have 2 boxes, one onsite somewhere secure and one offsite in an accessible location in the event it’s a full building event.

This week, we’re focusing on the final step: Writing out and planning your testing strategies.
In general it’s a good idea to test your backup strategy once a quarter just to make sure that everything is running smoothly and there’s nothing that needs to be adjusted. One good place is the offices of your IT provider that way they can just bring them with them on the way to the outage or DR site.

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Rubric: Business Emergency Preparedness


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