September 19, 2018
How to Define the Scope of Your Disaster Recovery Test
Are you testing the ability spin up a virtual machine locally? In the cloud? Both? Is the test conducted in a cloud-based environment that mirrors the production environment? Or, is the scope broader than that? Other tests might go beyond IT—testing an emergency generator, for example. There is no single “right” approach. However, some types of testing can introduce the risk of data loss or corruption. Some MSPs go to the length of unplugging a server or other technology to simulate an outage. When determining the scope of your DR testing, you’ll need to balance the specific needs of your customers, how much disruption they can tolerate during testing, and the amount of time and resources required for you to conduct tests.
“We serve businesses that range from two seats to 250, and the scope of testing totally depends on the customer,” said Alain Lefebvre of Great White North Technology Consulting, an Ontario based Datto Partner. “With smaller customers we typically perform spin up tests, but with larger implementations we might intentionally tank a switch or something to make sure everything is in order across
Andrew Hutchison of Blackpoint IT Services, an Oregon and Washington based Datto partner, said that tests are designed to validate on premises and cloud restores—however, they will expand their offering to meet customer needs. For example, “in some cases we allow customers to access applications in the cloud during testing for an additional fee. Or, we’ll perform network authentication in addition to testing restores,” he said.
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