It doesn't matter how good your disaster recovery procedures and processes are if you don't test them. This stance may seem extreme, but disaster recovery is so important that the key metric is simple: either your procedures work as intended, or they don't. Finding out how well your processes work to restore your data, and continue your operations, is something you need to do before you need them. Testing and validation help you find problems, shortcomings, or areas of improvement in the resources, software, hardware, people, and plans you depend on to successfully execute a disaster recovery and to keep your operations going during an outage. This Essential Guide describes what to test, how to test it, and what results to expect.