After you develop DR plans, disaster recovery awareness and testing strategies ensure the plan works and that everyone knows their role within it.
The most important strategy in disaster recovery testing is simply to test, test and test again. Based on the size and complexity of your IT infrastructure, disaster recovery testing activities should address recovery of hardware, software, data and databases, network services, data centre facilities, people (for example, relocation of staff to an alternate site), and the business.
Basic disaster recovery testing begins with a desktop walk-through activity, in which DR team members review DR plans step by step to see if they make sense and to fully understand their roles and responsibilities in a disaster. The next kind of test, a simulated recovery, impacts specific systems and infrastructure elements.
Operational exercises extend the simulated recovery test to a wider scale, typically testing end-to-end recovery of multiple systems, both internal and external, the associated network infrastructures that support connectivity of those assets, and the facilities that house primary and backup systems.


Build confidence throughout the organisation that resilience and recovery strategies will satisfy the business requirements. Demonstrate that critical ICT services can be maintained and recovered within agreed service levels or recovery objectives regardless of the incident. Demonstrate that critical ICT services can be restored to pre-test state in the event of an incident at the recovery location. Once you have drawn up a detailed disaster recovery plan, the next stages in the project are twofold: to prepare and deliver disaster recovery awareness and training programmes so all employees are prepared to respond as required by the plan in an emergency, and to to carry out disaster recovery testing to ensure the plan works properly and that DR teams know their roles and responsibilities. Provide staff members with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the recovery process.
Perhaps the most important strategy in raising disaster recovery awareness is to secure senior management support and funding for DR programmes.


Once your DR plans have been tested and your awareness and training plans have been initiated, the next steps are to initiate a maintenance programme and initiate an audit and review programme. Since you will be working with a variety of vendors and specialised service providers, examine their training programmes to see if they can be leveraged into your internally developed training activities.
Before you reach the actual test, there’s a lot of work that needs to be completed, such as researching the systems to be tested, researching existing recovery procedures, identifying test scripts (if any), creating and approving test scripts, coordinating with other IT departments and business units in the company, and coordinating with external vendors and service providers. Disaster recovery testing will ensure that all your efforts to provide recovery and resilience will indeed protect critical IT assets.



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