London software testing news UK

Testing Disaster Recovery

Posted in Acceptance testing by testing in London on August 6, 2008


Organizations spend a lot of money on outside consultants to map their business processes and then prepare a thick runbook that serves as their disaster recovery plan. The problem with this approach is that the plan tends to quickly become obsolete as processes or technology changes. Thorough testing is time-consuming and expensive making it both necessary yet difficult for IT staff to obtain management approval for regular DR plan testing. While it’s not widely discussed outside of gloomy statistics published by organizations such as Meta Group and Gartner, organizations tend to realize that their very expensive DR plans are largely works of fiction. They are compiled in order to gain auditor check-off, not to truly enable effective business continuity in the event of a data center catastrophe.

User Acceptance Test (UAT) needed to validate data integrity after failover, and any other steps needed, if known, to ensure a successful failover. For instance, when recovering a three-tier application the database can be brought up first and then paused until the database is confirmed as being ready for use. The application server is next brought up and paused until it passes an acceptance test. The Web Server is activated and tested as the final step.

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