Having detailed BCDR plans in place is good; conducting a BCDR test is the only way to know they’ll suffice in a real crisis scenario. Testing your plans will help keep your staff ready to respond by reminding them what their roles are in the event of a disaster.
What Should be Included in a BCDR Test?
Testing Systems Failover
The process involves spinning up virtual instances of your servers and then attempting to conduct normal business operations. You’ll want to test whether you can access your virtual servers from multiple workstations to verify. Also, ask your IT staff to attempt to recover your server backups. Remember to check that the data and applications that return to the primary server are intact and meet your recovery point and time objectives.
Testing Power Failover
Just unplug your primary power supply and check to see that devices stay on.
Testing Internet Failover
Disconnect one of your internet connections at its source to make sure your firewall automatically switches to your backup connection. You’ll be dropping and switching to a different provider, which means a change in your primary IP address. We recommend conducting internet failover tests after business hours.
How Often Should You Conduct a Complete Failover BCDR Test?
Test all your failover solutions once a year. Larger organizations may consider doing a full test every six months. If you ever run into an issue with your failover systems, a test right there will help diagnose the issue.
Test your personnel so that parties will know how to respond to a disaster. Make sure key managers know what your BCDR test plans are and how to implement them. Assign specific individuals to handle tasks from the BCDR plans. The plan should be comprehensive enough for you to know the primary, secondary, and tertiary backup personnel responding.
The Importance of Reviewing Your BCDR Plans
Technology changes and improves over time and your BCDR plans should adapt to those changes. To accomplish this, BCDR test regularly so your company can keep tabs on what within your organization needs updating or replacement.
It’s worth reviewing your technology whenever there are changes such as moving, staff updates, or migration to the cloud. If you end up having to use your BCDR plans, don’t forget to assess how well it worked, where it fell, and what could improve it.
Who Should Take Care of BCDR and The BCDR Test?
The person in charge of creating your BCDR plan should be the CTO or CIO since they’re probably the people who know most about your company’s technology capabilities and needs.
However, if your business doesn’t have those roles filled, you can still get an augmented version of a CIO with our Managed IT services. Your MSP services, like your BCDR plans, shouldn’t be “one size fits all,” which is why we prefer to invest time in understanding your company’s unique needs.