Disaster recovery (DR) planning is a process that will no
doubt push your boundaries in terms of your knowledge base and hands-on
experience. There will be some DR topics that you’ve never heard of, and some
technologies that you know a little about, but you don’t have enough experience
with actually using them. How do you get ready to implement and manage these
systems and new technologies when you may not have even worked with them
before? Training will help bridge the gap between what you know and what you
need to know to complete your DR plan and implementation, but how do you choose
the best kind of training for you and your organization?

Training methods you might want to consider

classroom training
is a very effective way to gain needed knowledge in a short
period of time. These classes often allow for hands-on training in a specially
configured classroom setting, which can get you up to speed on the actual
systems you’re going to be using as part of your DR plan. The main drawback to
this method is the fact that everyone who needs the training will have to be
out of the office, and therefore unavailable for the length of the training
period. This is in addition to possible travel expenses if the facility is not
near your office.

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On-site training
is also an option
. This could take the form of an instructor holding a
class at your facility or having a vendor’s installation staff to come in and train
your department during the product’s or system’s implementation. While
generally more expensive than classroom training, this does give you the
ability to keep your staff on-site in case an emergency should arise. Of
course, it can also be a drawback, as staff may be called away during critical
periods of the knowledge transfer, leaving you without getting your money’s
worth from the event.

You might also consider alternatives such as taking online courses or
self-paced studies. You can learn on your own with books and manuals along with
access to test equipment on which to practice your new knowledge. Virtual server
Virtual Server
, etc.) are exceptionally useful in these cases, as they will
allow you to practice your skill-set without endangering production systems and
without the need to purchase large amounts of test equipment. Keep in mind that
without mentoring to see you through the process, many people find the
self-paced method to be somewhat less effective than instructor-led training.
However, the overall cost reduction can often make this method much more
appealing than the more expensive options.

Virtual testing

If you’re interested in using virtualization technology to
help you train and test new systems, these TechRepublic resources will give you
some tips:

Selecting the method of training that fits both your budget
and your needs may mean using a combination of approaches. However, lacking the
training required before moving forward with your DR implementation is a recipe
for creating a disaster all by itself.