No one ever hopes to find themselves in a disaster recovery situation. Unfortunately, however, it is usually a matter of when, rather than if. The best offense is a good defense, and as the old Boy Scout motto states, Be Prepared. Up-front planning, including testing of the plan, will pay huge dividends . If you do not test your plan before disaster strikes, all you have is words on a page. Remember that recovering a system is more than performing some steps laid out on a page: it involves people, processes, communication, and technology, among other things. Plans should be executed by qualified individuals only; those with lesser experience or without nerves of steel should not apply. Finally, when the dust settles, do a postmortem on the process so you can learn from the execution of the plan as well as from what went wrong on the servers. Then you can take corrective action and avoid the problem in the future.