You know that you need to regularly and realistically test your disaster recovery plan. Without this testing, you’ll never know if the plan works – at least not until a disaster actually occurs, by which time it may be too late.

So, wouldn’t it be great if some or even all this testing could happen automatically, taking the onus off you to manually put things in motion each time? Here are three tools that could help you on your way.

  1. Scheduling software. This be simple, like an electronic calendar or task manager that “pings” you with a reminder at a certain date to set the tests in motion. It can also be more sophisticated, using process management software for example to automatically kick things off on the first Monday of each month and guide you through the activities of checking there is no clash with other requirements, running the tests, making the report, and initiating any corrections or improvements to the plan.
  2. Automated software routines. Automation software can record a disaster recovery test procedure from your keyboard entries and mouse-clicks, store the procedure, and play it back for you whenever you want. According to the automation software product you use, you’ll find scheduling possibilities and built-in intelligence to handle subsequent variations in system setups, console windows that have been resized since the procedure was first stored, and more.
  3. Random disaster situation simulators. This might be based on an application like Chaos Monkey, which was designed to terminate virtual machines in servers at random. Its original creator, media service provider Netflix, wanted to see how well its systems and networks recovered with such unforeseen outages. However, as with the scheduling and automation software above, you might want to configure in conditions to make sure the Chaos Monkey doesn’t cause havoc at times that are just too unsuitable – like when your company is hosting a visit from one of its major clients, for example.