Test your Restores, or, a Cautionary Tale

The other day I rebuilt a test system, and as a result I wanted to restore a few of my test databases. I've done a lot of customization in those, fuzzed some of the private data and so on, that they've moved dangerously close to a "production" database, at least for me.

So I grabbed the media, popped it in the drive and...not so much. It didn't work. Sure, I used old tapes for my "test" databases, and they are just "test" databases, but when I saw that media failure, it reminded me to test, test, test the restores of my productoin systems. I know, it takes a long time, it's hard to find room on the drives, it's a pain to set up an app to test, but you have to do this. Make it a part of your tasks, carve out the time, plan for it.

Your company thinks you can get the data for them, so make sure they understand what the true RPO and RTO on your systems really is.

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