At June’s Infrastructure Summit, Gartner’s John Morency went on the record about the high cost of recovery testing. He remarked that most organizations with whom John speaks report averaging $30-40K per test. Some even estimated spending as much as $100K on a single disaster recovery test exercise.
That’s an enormous expense under any circumstance. With that type of cost, it’s no wonder than more organizations report putting off recovery test walk-throughs, and incomplete testing at “best effort” levels.
Also, when recovery testing is best perceived as being “insurance” against a “smoking hole” style of disaster, then increasing the effort and resources put against it seems hard to justify.
The key to unlocking better recovery test practices requires a combination of things. First, organizations need to redefine the purpose of recovery testing – to include finding technology gaps and opportunities for process improvement in their production environment. Second, organizations can also benefit from a closer working relationship with their cloud recovery service provider. Demanding that the provider step up to assume responsibility for recovery – backed by contractual guarantees – is one way to make sure that recovery testing is a manageable burden assumed by the provider, at a predictable and manageable expense.
In fact, in most cases, taking this approach can substantially reduce an organization’s recovery testing costs. Elimination of staff travel and expenses to the recovery site, and time out of office, is one obvious savings. Additionally, however, reducing the guesswork – and relying on recovery experts – can not only reduce costs but speed test and increase the value of testing.
How can recovery tests benefit organizations in their production environment? These are some of the benefits which SunGard Recovery Services customers report experiencing first hand:
- Finding previously unknown patches to apply in production environments as well as at the recovery site – improves applications performance and operations
- Improving change management processes at the production site – asset and license management, change control, and related process improvement can improve customer service and improve IT budget control
- Using runbooks created for recovery for smaller-scale recovery to overcome local outages – improves application availability
- Redesigning protection strategies and technology implementations to better support recovery objectives – can streamline and lower the complexity and cost of protection systems
For more on how SunGard can assist your disaster recovery test efforts – and make them more valuable to your business – read about our latest Managed Recovery Program service.