Thursday, 17 September 2015
Disaster Recovery Hot, Cold & Warm Sites: Key Differences
Data loss is increasingly becoming less acceptable because of the value of organizational data and the inability to re-create it. Uninterrupted uptime and availability of mission critical data is therefore not just a necessity, but is in fact crucial to business success. Unavailability of an organisation’s IT infrastructure can result in heavy loss of brand equity and revenue, missed opportunities and failed commitments.
While we do have companies spending more on comprehensive and robust DR solutions that could be hardware and software based, there is also an increasing trend with regards to spending on backup DR sites along with provisioning DR seats.
Thought this article, we will discuss hot, cold and warm DR sites.
A duplicate of the original site of the organization, it hosts the entire computer system as well as near-complete backup of user data. Real time synchronization using wide area network links and specialized software between the two sites may be done to completely mirror the data environment of the original site. In the event of a disruption of the original site, the organization can relocate to normal operations on the hot site with minimal losses.
Ideally, a hot site will be up and running within a matter of hours or even less. However, personnel may have to be moved to the hot site. Thus, it is possible that the hot site may be operational from a data processing perspective before the staff is relocated. Hot sites are popular with organizations that operate real time processes round-the-clock such as financial institutions, government agencies and e-commerce providers.
These sites have virtualized or scaled down hardware enough to keep the business operations active during a disaster. It does not include backed up copies of data and nor does it include hardware already set up. Cold sites have backups that may be between several days and a week old and the data is restored and tested at regular intervals.
A warm site is, quite logically, a compromise between the hot and cold. These sites have established hardware and connectivity, although on a smaller scale than the original production site or even a hot site. Warm sites will have backups on hand but they could either be incomplete or between several days and a week old. Backups could be conducted manually such as couriering backup tapes to the warm site.
Choosing the type of DR site depends on an organisation’s budget, the sensitivity of their data, the amount of risk they are willing to take, and the amount of time they are able to take before fully restoring business operations.
Contact us to learn more about how a hot, cold or warm site can help secure your company’s future.