Creating Better Disaster Recovery Plans


Five questions for Tanya Reilly: How service interdependencies make recovery harder and why it’s a good idea to deliberately and preemptively manage dependencies.

I recently asked Tanya Reilly, Site Reliability Engineer at Google, to share her thoughts on how to make better disaster recovery plans. Tanya is presenting a session titled Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again? at the O’Reilly Velocity Conference, taking place Oct. 1-4 in New York.

1. What are the most common mistakes people make when planning their backup systems strategy?

The classic line is “you don’t need a backup strategy, you need a restore strategy.” If you have backups, but you haven’t tested restoring them, you don’t really have backups. Testing doesn’t just mean knowing you can get the data back; it means knowing how to put it back into the database, how to handle incremental changes, how to reinstall the whole thing if you need to. It means being sure that your recovery path doesn’t rely on some system that could be lost at the same time as the data.

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