Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Preparing for the Worst: Basic to Advanced Disaster Recovery Tests
If you are afraid to implement a test run on your disaster recovery systems, then it is probably not robust enough. As business continuity remains a priority among enterprises, testing your backup or disaster recovery systems is critical. When organizations do not invest time and resources into testing their plans, it may not work as required in case of emergencies, disasters or cyber-attacks. There are some basics you can follow to keep your DR system in check. Even though each has its risks, CIOs must study the consequences of downtime in line with the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) required for their business. Below, I have outlined four strategies or tests which can help organizations be vigilant of their disaster recovery systems.
1.Simulation Test – Enterprises can use this method during their first testing attempt. This is implemented in a controlled situation, and does not usually impact business operations. Often, it is conducted after business hours-during ‘managed downtime’ or ‘IT maintenance.’ Here, the focus is on one of several possible scenarios-such as an internal security breach or a flood.
This simulation often uses replicated data at the recovery site, after which the management suspend data between production and recovery sites to test RTO and server security during disruptions
2.Full Interruption – During a full test, IT professionals organize an actual failover of their datacenter or servers, which is a much riskier option. It is also time-consuming and expensive, especially in cases where data is lost. This may not always be the best testing methods for all companies, especially those who cannot afford downtime.
3.Walkthroughs – IT management can identify security gaps, weaknesses or system limitations with regularly-scheduled walkthroughs of their DR plan.
4.Install automated solutions and softwares for remote updates and alerts, so that you have an eye on your system even when you are not in close proximity to your datacenters.
Additionally, enterprises should consult with their managed services provider to obtain a detailed analysis of your IT ecosystem and its components. Such consultants have the expertise and technical staff to provide auditing services, thereby making their internal IT management much easier.