Disaster Recovery Testing

YOU HAVE NO BACKUPS UNTIL YOU HAVE TESTED A RESTORE.

REPEAT.

YOU HAVE NO BACKUPS UNTIL YOU HAVE TESTED A RESTORE.

Introduction

Only a person who does not value their job waits until disaster strikes before testing their backup strategy. You have no way of knowing¬†the following unless you are well tested in advance: –

  • Can you recover?
  • How long does it take you to recover?
  • How much data are you going to lose?

Whatever solution you choose, it is essential you are very well tested and have a documented repeatable plan to work from when the cold hand of disaster rests on your shoulder.

Action Plan

  • Pretend you lost production at time X.
  • Start a timer.
  • Restore to an alternative SQL Server and bring your application up.
    • Document what you do.
    • How long did the whole process take end to end?
    • How much data was lost?
  • Repeat the process with someone else performing the restore working from your documented plan.
    • Rinse and repeat until you are 100% confident in your disaster recovery document. This means a tired person in the middle of the night can step through the document and all required actions are clearly laid out with all scripts mentioned readily available to all.
  • Take the numbers to management. Are they happy with how long it takes you to recover from disaster and how much data can potentially be lost? If not you can then have the talk about a higher DR budget with empirical numbers to back you up.
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