Testing at least once per month is important to maintain engineering best practices, to comply with stringent standards for data protection and recovery, and to gain confidence and peace of mind. In the midst of disaster is not the time to determine the flaws in your backup and recovery system. Backup alone is useless without the ability to efficiently recover, and technologists know all too well that the only path from “ought to work” to “known to work” is through testing.
A recent study found that only 16 percent of companies test their disaster recovery plan each month, with over half testing just once or twice per year, if ever. Adding to the concern, almost one-third of tests resulted in failure.
The reasons cited for infrequent testing include the usual litany of tight budgets, disruption to employees and customers, interruption of sales and revenue, and of course the scarcity of time. This survey covered mostly large enterprises, and the challenges are even greater for smaller firms.
IT disaster recovery, technical terms like recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) are often used, but what do they really mean? In practical terms, recovery time objective is the duration until a business can return to normal after the failure of a server or key computer site, and recovery point objective is the place in the transaction flow where the business resumes.