What is a BCDR Test and How Often Should You Run One?

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What Should be Included in a BCDR Test?


Testing Systems Failover 

This process involves testing virtual instances of your servers and attempting normal business operations. You want to test access to your virtual servers from multiple workstations to verify. 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

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, test to help diagnose the issue. 


Personnel Testing

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 BCDR plans should adapt to those changes. To accomplish this, BCDR test regularly so your company can keep tabs on what 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.


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. BCDR plans shouldn’t be “one size fits all,” which is why we prefer to invest time in understanding your company’s unique needs.