Testing your disaster recovery plan is crucial to ensure that your organization is prepared to minimize downtime in the event of a disaster. Here are some steps you can take to test your disaster recovery plan:
Define Test Scenarios: Define test scenarios that simulate real-world disaster scenarios. These scenarios should be designed to test specific aspects of your disaster recovery plan, such as data recovery, network failover, and application availability.
Involve All Relevant Parties: Involve all relevant parties in the testing process, including IT staff, business unit leaders, and third-party vendors. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands their role in the event of a disaster.
Document Test Results: Document the results of each test scenario, including any issues or areas for improvement. This will help you to refine your disaster recovery plan and ensure that it's as effective as possible.
Test Regularly: Test your disaster recovery plan on a regular basis, such as quarterly or bi-annually. This will help to ensure that your plan remains up-to-date and effective in the face of evolving threats and technologies.
Automate Where Possible: Automate as much of the testing process as possible, such as data replication, failover, and recovery. This will help to minimize the risk of human error and improve the overall efficiency of your disaster recovery plan.
By following these steps, you can test your disaster recovery plan to work on minimizing downtime and ensure that your organization is prepared to quickly recover from a disaster.
IT Manager Infrastructure&DBA at SplashBI On-Demand Reporting and BI
Apr 3, 2023
Testing your disaster recovery plan is an essential step to ensure that it will work effectively in minimizing downtime. There are several ways to test your disaster recovery plan, and the following are some suggestions to consider:
Tabletop Exercises: Tabletop exercises are simulations that test the effectiveness of your disaster recovery plan. They involve gathering key stakeholders together to walk through various scenarios and discuss how they would respond. This exercise can help identify any gaps or weaknesses in your plan, and can help refine your processes.
Partial Failover Tests: Partial failover tests involve testing a subset of your IT systems to see if they can failover to your disaster recovery site. This test helps identify any issues with your failover processes and can help refine your failover procedures.
Full Failover Tests: Full failover tests involve testing all of your IT systems to see if they can failover to your disaster recovery site. This test is more comprehensive than the partial failover test and can help identify any issues with your entire IT infrastructure.
Unannounced Tests: Unannounced tests involve testing your disaster recovery plan without informing your IT team in advance. This test can help identify how quickly your team can respond to a disaster recovery situation and can help refine your communication processes.
Production Failover Tests: Production failover tests involve testing your disaster recovery plan during a planned outage of your production environment. This test can help identify any issues with your failover processes and can help refine your procedures.
It is important to note that testing your disaster recovery plan should be done on a regular basis to ensure that it remains effective and relevant. It is also important to document and analyze the results of your tests to identify areas for improvement and to update your plan accordingly.
SQL Database Administrator at Aurora Mental Health Center
Mar 17, 2023
The key to recovery from a Ransomware attack is the boy scout motto "Be Prepared". In our case, not only did we have backups at the DR site but both the Production site and DR site each had a NAS on a different subnet with different Admin passwords that had backup copies, so 4 total backups. We also were using iSCSI connections to our SAN which the ransomware was not able to cross when they polluted the connection file. This was an unexpected bonus. We were basically back up and running in 4 hours after wiping and restoring files. Lessons learned were to separate as much as possible so if one part of the domain/forest gets corrupted it cannot travel to the other areas. We now use Veeam for Hyper-V windows VMs and Zerto for VMware VMs, another separation of business functions with different admin passwords. Nothing is foolproof but by making it as difficult as possible then makes more time to catch and stop the attack sooner.
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Every Virtualization and System Administrator deals with having the ability to recover servers, files, etc. and having a Backup Solution to help with recovery will ease the burden. But how do you know which one is right for you? How would you go about choosing the right solution that will help you in your daily tasks?
When choosing a backup solution there are many things t...
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Cloud based backup and storage is the way to proceed in most cases, thus avoiding hardware that needs to be located securely and needs regular updating and refreshing.The longer term cost of ownership will be less by using cloud backup.
Generally the following should be considered
1. How quickly would we need to recover our backup.
2. How often do we want to perform backups e.g. some companies will need their data backed up almost continuously and others will be happy with a daily backup.
3. Is it better to use a single vendor for everything i.e. backup, archive and storage or select multiple solutions.
4. How often should we be checking to ensure my backups are working - many companies don't check and get a bad surprise when they find none of their backups actually worked.
5. Can we have unlimited uploads and downloads and how granular do we need that to be and how much will that cost - some vendors have expensive limits on uploads and downloads and some offer unlimited access.
6. Have we de-duplicated our data and will the backup solution do that for us. Otherwise are we paying to backup multiples of the same data. How do we deduplicate if our backup vendor doesn't do it for us
7. Has our backup solution got sufficient security controls i.e. is the data encrypted, locked and has it been scanned for ransomware? Does the backup solution do that for us or do we have to purchase more tools.
8. A common misnomer is that enterprises believe their data is secure because they are using 'The Cloud' i.e. M365, AWS, Azure, GCP - Note: Cloud providers are responsible for their infrastructure, you are responsible for your data - A separate backup provider and strategy is essential.
9. Do we have the right people internally to manage our backup strategy, how much time will it take them and what happens if they are not available. It is worth finding a vendor which will automate as much of your backup as possible. This will also save you money over time too.
There are a small number of excellent vendors with competitive commercials that can do all of the above providing their customers with peace of mind. If they have a disaster they can be rapidly back to a secure working system. Choose a provider that meets your critical needs and budget.
On the one hand, A backup solution is part of a bigger one which is named Disaster recovery and business continuity. The importance of BC and DR is depended on company size. If we categorized companies into three segments small, medium, and large companies, we can offer which solution fits each of them.
On the other hand, we have third platform data centers, which are defined with Cloud, BigData, Social Media, and mobile devices. Nowadays a massive amount of data is creating from different heterogeneous sources. now our backup solution must be compatible with new requirements.
All backup solutions offer many features, but there is a major difference between an enterprise backup solution and a small backup solution. That is the quality of performance of each part of the software.
Enterprise software solutions provide more stability, resiliency, stability and are integrated for BC & DR, of course, they are not simple to use for everyone, while small backup solutions are medium-quality software with maximum simplicity to engage newcomers IT admins.
That is why we can see a lot of simple programs which are not scalable.
for example, the Veem backup solution is very simple, easy to use, and suitable in many small businesses, but when you want to use some advanced features such as SAN Based Backup, Backup replication in two or more sites, Backup staging, Cloud integration, or data protection in a heterogeneous environment, your challenges are beginning with these kinds of software. They would have become much more complex compared to Enterprise software, such as Veritas NetBackup.
SimonClark did an awesome job of outlining considerations that should be considered.
1. Reporting - useful daily reports are critical to me. I look for a traffic light kind of report that covers all jobs and assets across multiple days. I want to be able to quickly digest the most recent backups - and see if there is a pattern of a problem, so I can take action quickly if needed.
2. Conciseness of use. I want to be able to intuitively be able to use the solution. Backup or restore, what, when, etc. If I need a 400+ manual to use the product, then something is wrong with the product. It should just make sense and flow easily.
3. Vendor engagement across multiple levels. With the sales process, I want/expect to get answers quickly = particularly regarding the capabilities and what I am looking for. With support, I expect a fast initial response, and continued good communication. And, finally, I expect the development team of the vendor to care and ask for what features, capabilities, and improvements are important to me.