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DR testing is rising in popularity due to both external and internal mandates for an effective DRP that is proven to function during a real disaster.
DR plans that are not updated are both irrelevant and ineffective. The only way to ensure an effective DR plan is through consistent testing.
Organizations rarely test DR plans proactively. This reactive approach creates many inefficiencies as lessons learned from one test are unable to feed into the next.
Using a DR test cycle will optimize DR test effectiveness because using a progressive approach allows value to transfer from one test to the next.
The goal of testing is to uncover gaps and issues so that they are eliminated during a real disaster. Focus on improving capabilities rather than worrying about whether you passed or failed.
Budget size does not determine DR effectiveness; consistent testing and maintenance is the only way to truly prepare yourself against potential disasters.
Impact and Result
Create an effective DR test plan by following a structured process to discover current capabilities and defining test procedures for the entire range of testing methodologies. This includes:
Defining current readiness through a comprehensive action items list, proficiency assessment, and needs analysis.
Creating comprehensive test documentation that will support the test facilitator through both passive and active testing.
Implementing a thorough review program that will incorporate learning points from testing into everyday operations.