Regular testing is critical for validation of your Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan and for your preparedness in case of a DR event. In Zerto, testing is typically done via the Test Failover process - this allows you to bring up your virtual machines without impact on your production environment. You can fail over a single VPG or multiple VPGs at a time, test and automatically clean up the environment with just a few clicks.
Even when conducting a test, Zerto continues the replication of changes to the recovery site. When the VMs are created in the recovery site following triggering Test Failover, Zerto attaches a scratch disk to them. This means that any changes made during the test are discarded after the test is completed. This way Zerto does not change the checkpoint that was used as a start point for the test.
It is recommended to run a test failover after the completion of your onboarding on the iland platform. This will not only help with familiarizing yourself with the process but will also help with the early discovery of potential issues with the VMs to avoid having to deal with them in a real DR event. In the case of the latter you would actually need to trigger a Live Failover which is covered in a separate article.
Before starting a Test Failover, the recovery group must have completed its initial sync. You may also not be able to fail over a recovery group that is in the middle of a bitmap or delta sync. If the connection between your site and iland is disconnected, or if your site is down, a Test Failover cannot be performed.
1. The Failover Wizard can be found in the top right corner of the Continuity tab.
2. Once you have opened the Failover Wizard, choose the failover type "Test" and Target Type "Recovery Group(s)". Then, click the "Next" button.
3. Select the Recovery Groups you want to test. By default, the latest checkpoint will be selected. If you would like to test an earlier point in time, hover over the recovery group name, click the three dots on the right and select "Change Checkpoint".
4. (optional) Select the desired checkpoint from the drop down.
5. Click Submit on the confirmation screen to begin the test.
6. You'll now see tasks showing the progress of your test in the task widget in the Console.
7. Once the recovery groups selected for testing are ready, you will see a "Zerto failover test" task with "Waiting on user input" status.
8. You may now proceed with your testing. The VM, which are part of the selected groups, will display in your VDC with "-testing recovery" added to their names.
9. Once you have completed testing the VMs, you can end the test by clicking on the "zerto failover test" task. You can add an optional note and specify whether the failover test was a success or a failure. This will be captured in the report that will be generated a few minutes after the test completes. Once you choose "Success" or "Failure", the failover test will end, and your environment will be cleaned up automatically.
You can also see the tasks in the Continuity tab, under the "Active Failover Tasks" widget. By clicking on the recovery group name, you can bring up the interface to stop the test.
10. Once this process is finished, you can view the failover report by clicking the task in the "Recent Failover Tasks" widget and by clicking the recovery group name.
11. This will show information about the test, such as when it started and finished, and the result. It will also allow you to view or download the full failover report. You can view this information for any failover performed in your environment, at any time.