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Previously we identified these strategies for disaster recovery:
- Cold site
- Warm site
- Hot site
- Reciprocal site
A cold site is simply a building in another location with floors, utilities and HVAC. It does not have IT infrastructure like servers and networks installed. The recovery process includes purchasing and installing servers and networks, transporting backup tapes to the new location, and rebuilding computer services.
A warm site has hardware and connectivity already established, usually on a small scale to keep investment costs down. Older backups might already be on site as part of a backup rotation process. Transporting the latest backups to the recovery site might take some time, depending on the distance between sites.
A hot site is a complete duplicate of the original site, with near-complete backups of user data or even fully mirrored data with real-time synchronization. The goal is to be up and running within hours from a technical perspective.
A reciprocal or joint site is an agreement between two organizations to operate a joint backup site. This can be a reciprocal agreement to provision a warm site at each other’s data centers. This avoids the cost of building and maintaining a facility.