Test or Test Not, There is No Try

By Keith Taylor, Zerto SDR

Test your DR or Test Not, There is No Try…

May the 4th be With You…

In honor of this year’s Star Wars day, we thought we’d take a quick look at the importance of regularly testing your DR solution – just in case the empire does decide to strike back.

There is one character from the Star Wars universe we at Zerto perhaps relate to more than any other (we just wish he’d been painted red) and that is R2-D2.  Like us, he’s just awesome and he gets it done.  He’s the one that everyone relies on to fix their problems.  He’s got every tool under the sun wrapped up in one neat case.  He’s the resident fixer and let’s face it, without him the story probably would have been a lot shorter.

There’s just one problem as far as we can see – we’re very thorough here at Zerto and we like to be able to test things so we know that they’re going to work when they’re supposed to.

What would’ve happened if R2 had gotten lost on the way to Dagobah with Luke?  What if it turned out he actually knew nothing about fixing a hyper-drive when the Millennium Falcon had to escape Cloud City?  Most recently, what would have happened had he not woken up to deliver the rest of the map to find Luke?

These are some pretty big assumptions the rebel alliance/resistance is making here.  Alright, so a scene where R2 gets plugged in and tested before every battle might not have made the best viewing (and I can’t really see Han being the type to bother reading the report anyway…) but still, one little failure is all it would have taken to cause disaster for the rebels.

Back in our own galaxy though, not a long long time ago or far far away, we can’t really afford to take these kinds of chances with our Disaster Recovery process.  If you need to invoke DR, you need to be sure it works – or else what’s the point of having it?

Even if we ignore the notion of ‘Best Practice’ when it comes to DR (a bad idea in the first place…), for many organizations testing and proving the capability is not an option, it’s a legal requirement – enforced by everyone’s favorite team, the dreaded ‘Auditors’…

But even so, there are still a worryingly large number of organizations who are either unable or unwilling to test their DR capabilities, even if it is just once a year.

“Use the force, Luke… And if that doesn’t work, turn it off and back on again…”


This reticence to test stems largely from the fact that – at least historically – testing and proving that a DR process will actually work when called upon has been a very difficult, complex and time-consuming task to undertake.  Often it would involve an entire team of people working extra hours over a weekend to perform the test outside of normal operational hours to limit the potential for disruption.

In this situation, not testing your DR plan regularly – or even at all – becomes (almost) understandable.  A solution designed to keep your business running should be simple, easy-to-use and inspire confidence that you can cope with anything that’s thrown your way.

Step-in Zerto – the R2-D2 for Disaster Recovery.


“Hmmmm, test your recovery plan you must…”  and here are some tips:

  • Test during the day – any day.  Not a weekend – just a normal working day, during normal operating hours, without any penalty.
  • Test with one person and a few clicks of a button.  Not a team of people spending hours trying to work out how 3 or 4 different solutions may or may not fit together – just one person, one solution, one test.
  • Test with confidence.  Not with shaky-hands and your heart in your throat.  Be certain that your data is going to be consistently recoverable to within seconds of any incident.
  • Test with ease and simplicity.  Not with too many complicated point solutions and various management interfaces.  Use one GUI to manage all DR activities.
  • Test with style.  Because at the end of the day, like R2 – we’re just awesome!

So today make sure the force is with you,… by using Zerto!

#Maythe4th be with you….always!

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