Checklist for Testing the Disaster Recovery Plan

Checklist for Data Recovery Plan | Zmanda

Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding. 

~Burt Rutan

A comprehensive disaster recovery plan is the penultimate step to producing a foolproof DR plan. With practicality superseding theoretical understanding, testing the DR plan is the final step to developing the best fit DR plan. 

Our previous article, Testing Your Disaster Recovery Plan, highlighted the various aspects of a DR plan and the need for carrying out the same. Testing the DR plan is far from daunting as it is analogous to software testing, which primarily entails identifying the actors involved, expected outcomes, observed outcomes, etc. The below checklist will help document the entire process and ease your testing plan. 

Ensure to complete the following tasks before diving into the creation of a checklist.

  1. Hardware and software inventory documentation: Prepare a document containing the various hardware and software of the system. Also, identify the personnel who maintain it to enable easy contact if a disaster occurs.
  2. RTO and RPO: Well-defined, feasible, and achievable Recovery Time Objectives and Recovery Point Objectives must be determined.
  3. Disaster Recovery Team Appointed and Prepped: The DR team must encompass members equipped to handle all the identified disaster scenarios. Clear-cut roles are essential for the smooth and effective functioning of the DR team.
  4. Prioritizing data: If sensitive or mission-critical data is leaked or tampered with, it may result in compliance issues or levy huge losses on the company. Hence, prioritize sensitive and mission-critical data by providing additional security measures to secure it.

Checklist to Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan:

1. Carrying Out the Test

The first checklist concentrates on the general areas, the 5Ws, and the 1H. The template also revolves around obtaining the consent of required authorities and primarily focuses on ensuring the smooth and detailed conduct of the entire DR test.

2. What Should Be Tested?

The following checklist helps uncover any discrepancies regarding the identification of various parameters essential to testing the DR plan. It dives deeper to ensure that the core of the DR plan is tested effectively with no ambiguities or corner cases left unattained.

The above checklists are simple templates that one can use to test their DR plan. However, it is necessary to understand that the checklist is subjective to the system and the company. It relies heavily on the RTO, RPO, and business continuity plan. Thus, continuous iterations of testing the DR plan and implementing changes at every step, similar to most software engineering processes, is the key to an infallible DR plan. Zmanda offers its expertise and trustworthy services every step of the way. Request a free demo or trial, or contact our trusted support to receive guidance and adept assistance. Zmanda strives to serve you the best!

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