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Hi there!!! 👋

It’s the 15th day of the #100dayschallenge, and today I will discuss disaster recover planning and testing in SRE.

Disaster recovery planning is a critical aspect of any business’s IT strategy. During unexpected outage or disaster, the cost of downtime can be significant, resulting in lost revenue, unsatisfactory customer experience, and reputational damage.

Disaster recovery testing is crucial for an organization’s survival and continuity during a catastrophic event or disruption. It helps to ensure that the organization’s critical systems, applications, and data can be restored within the required timeframe and that it can continue functioning with minimal downtime or data loss.

So, I have planned the contents for next 100 days, and I will be posting one blog post each and everyday under the hashtag #100daysofSRE. ✌️

I hope you tag along and share valuable feedback as I grow my knowledge and share my findings. 🙌

Disaster Recovery Planning

Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP) is creating a structured approach for responding to unexpected events that can cause damage to an organization’s IT infrastructure and operations.

The primary goal of DRP is to minimize the impact of an unplanned outage or disaster and ensure the organization can resume normal operations as quickly as possible.

Components of a Disaster Recovery Plan

  1. Backup and Recovery Strategies: outlines the strategies and procedures for backing up critical data and applications to enable rapid recovery during a disaster. It includes data backup schedules, retention policies, recovery time objectives (RTOs), and recovery point objectives (RPOs).
  2. Contingency Planning: identifies alternative IT solutions to implement during a disaster. It includes contingency plans for disasters, such as power outages, natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and human errors.
  3. Communication Plans: defines the communication protocols to be followed during a disaster, including who will be responsible for communicating with stakeholders and how communication will be maintained during recovery.
  4. Documentation: includes details outlining the disaster recovery plan, including its goals, objectives, procedures, and roles and responsibilities.

Best Practices for Disaster Recovery Planning

  1. Identify Critical Systems and Data: Identify the critical systems, applications, and data essential for business operations and prioritize their recovery.
  2. Assign Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define roles and responsibilities for disaster recovery, including creating and maintaining the disaster recovery plan and the execution of recovery procedures.
  3. Regularly Review and Update the Plan: Conduct periodic reviews of the disaster recovery plan to ensure it remains up-to-date and aligned with changing business needs and IT environments.
  4. Test the Plan: Conduct regular testing of the disaster recovery plan to ensure its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. Regular testing helps identify potential issues and ensures personnel knows the plan’s procedures and processes.

Disaster recovery testing

Disaster recovery testing is evaluating and testing the effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan (DRP) to ensure that an organization can recover its critical systems, applications, and data in case of a catastrophic event or disruption. Disaster recovery testing helps to identify gaps, weaknesses, and areas of improvement in the DRP before an actual disaster occurs.


  1. Full-scale tests: involve the complete shutdown of a system or application and the implementation of the entire disaster recovery plan. Full-scale tests are the most comprehensive disaster recovery testing but can be disruptive and time-consuming.
  2. Partial tests: focus on specific components or aspects of the disaster recovery plan, such as backup and recovery processes or communication plans. Partial tests are less disruptive than full-scale tests. Still, they may need to provide a complete picture of the organization’s ability to recover from a disaster.
  3. Simulation tests: involve using simulated scenarios to test the effectiveness of the disaster recovery plan. Simulation tests can help identify weaknesses in the plan and train staff on the procedures to follow in case of a disaster.

Best practices

  1. Establish clear objectives and metrics: Before conducting a disaster recovery test, it is essential to establish clear objectives and metrics for the test. This will help ensure that the test is focused and the results are measurable.
  2. Involve all stakeholders: Disaster recovery testing should involve all stakeholders, including IT staff, business owners, and external partners or vendors. This will help ensure everyone knows the procedures and responsibilities involved in the disaster recovery plan.
  3. Evaluate and refine the plan based on results: After conducting a disaster recovery test, it is crucial to evaluate the results and refine the plan as needed. This will help ensure that the organization continuously improves its disaster recovery capabilities and preparedness.

Challenge and Solutions

Challenge: Lack of resources

Solution: Prioritize your needs. Not all systems are created equal, so it’s essential to prioritize your needs when developing a disaster recovery plan. Please focus on the most critical methods to your business and make sure you have a plan to recover them quickly.

Challenge: Lack of time

Solution: Break down the process into smaller steps. Disaster recovery planning can be daunting, so it’s helpful to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will make it seem less overwhelming and help you stay on track.

Challenge: Lack of expertise

Solution: Hire a consultant. If you lack the in-house expertise to develop a disaster recovery plan, consider hiring a consultant. A consultant can help you assess your needs, develop a plan, and test it to ensure it’s effective.

Challenge: Lack of budget

Solution: Cost Reduction There are several ways to reduce the cost of disaster recovery planning, such as using open-source software or cloud-based solutions. Be creative and find solutions that fit your budget.

Challenge: Change

Solution: Plan should be flexible. The world is constantly changing, so ensuring your disaster recovery plan is flexible enough to adapt to change is essential. This means regularly reviewing your goal and making updates as needed.

Concluding Remarks

In site reliability engineering, disaster recovery planning and testing are crucial to ensuring an organization can recover from a disaster and continue operations.

Disaster recovery testing is executing a disaster recovery plan in a controlled environment to test its effectiveness and provide training and awareness to stakeholders.

The importance of disaster recovery testing lies in its ability to identify gaps in the disaster recovery plan and refine it to ensure that it is effective during a disaster.


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