Testing Your Server Restore Plan

Every quarter, like clockwork, our building management company circulates a notice for a planned fire drill to all of the tenants in our office tower. We roll our eyes, shake our heads in a disapproving manner and wait for the mystery day when our heart rates rocket from the shock of the 135db fire alarm. The day of, we calmly proceed to our designated meeting spot in the parking lot, the HR manager takes a head count and reports to the building safety steward, the fire marshall makes an appearance, verifies all systems are operational and tells us all that we have done a great job!

Joking aside, it is a well-planned and tested business practice, and the same thing should be done for IT disaster and recovery planning.

Too often we find out that, despite implementing file level or full system state backups, companies fail to document and conduct regular test restores. Whether the IT department is backing up servers (and associated data) locally or using a hybrid approach of backing up locally and replicating to a cloud target, creating and testing a recovery plan is of equal importance.

From an operational perspective, IT disaster recovery is part of the business’ response to risk. It is a small investment of time and money – the purpose of which is to mitigate the risks. Whether it is delivered through the in-house IT department or MSP, having this service and best practices available to the business is essential.

A key benefit of using services from cloud infrastructure providers that offer this capability is the ability to test server recoveries without disrupting the entire business operation. Having a snapshot of servers backed up using an integrated cloud provider means that servers and applications can be restored directly to cloud servers within the same environment saving time for testing and saving money by leveraging cloud computing.  This low-cost server restoration capability allows for a Disaster Preparedness plan to be fine-tuned and optimized as well as helping get the process fully documented.

Just like the office fire drill, conducting regular test restores of mission-critical servers both validate procedures and identifies any overlooked technical items that should be considered when restoring a server locally or in the cloud immediately after a real crisis.

Learn more about server backup and restores and be ready for when it’s not just a drill.

Jim Stechyson

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