Disaster Recovery Server: Is a Cold, Warm, or Hot Site Best for You?

Having access to a disaster recovery server is critical for maintaining business continuity in an emergency. That is true for all companies. How quickly you want to be up and running using an alternate server is up to you. Backup sites, also known as work area recovery sites, fall into three general categories: cold, warm, and hot. This, of course, is not an indicator of their ambient temperature. Instead, it’s a reference to how closely the environment matches your live operations in terms of the availability of current data.

Choosing the Right “Temperature”

The two primary factors in choosing the type of backup site you need are readiness and cost. Needless to say, the site that provides the greatest readiness in the event of a disaster is the one that will have the highest price tag. However, when measured against the cost of an extended outage, companies are more than happy to invest in their operational security. The confidence that your company can continue to operate through a disaster recovery server in an emergency is really priceless.

Backup Site Options

When choosing a backup site, you have three options:

  • Cold backup site. A cold backup site is essentially just a space in a building that is properly configured to accept the equipment you will need to resume operations. There is significant work in getting up and running again at a cold site. However, this is the least expensive type of backup site.
  • Warm backup site. A warm backup site has hardware installed and data communication capability established. A warm site may have copies of your data on hand. However, those copies may not be complete or current. In other words, the data is not mirroring what is on your production server. A warm site allows you to resume operations more quickly than a cold site. But, there will still be a delay as full data backups are received from a remote backup site and put into place.
  • Hot backup site. A hot backup site houses a duplicate of the data on your production server. This can be a real-time, mirror image of your data if that level of synchronization is set up. In the event of a disaster, your operations can be back online from a hot site typically within a matter of hours. The capacity of the hot site may or may not be equal to that of your production server. But either way, it is sufficient to operate your business while issues with your production environment are resolved. Hot sites are the preferred approach for organizations that perform real-time processes, including e-commerce companies, financial institutions, etc.

Keeping You Online in Emergency Situations

Our state-of-the-art disaster recovery servers are used by a wide range of businesses to ensure business continuity in an emergency. To learn more about our disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, use the Contact Us form on our website, stop by our facility, or call us at 800-935-6527.

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