A hot recovery site refers to a room that is an exact copy of the work site. It is said to mirror the original work site. The hot site is a disaster recovery location that is already set up and is ready to go. This means that people can start working on the site immediately. The hot site will have the necessary equipment on the site with all the current data about the disaster and recovery efforts. Other components of a hot recovery site include cooling, servers, and office space (if there is a need). The site is usually run concurrently with the main site in order to provide an automatic backup just in case a disaster strikes the original site. A prudent management team should have the resources and the capacity to relocate personnel, equipment, and data to the hot site immediately disaster strikes the main site. It should be noted that this type of backup is much more expensive than the cold or warm site. The organizations that adopt the hot site are those that operate mainly in real time. These organizations include banks, production systems, and online businesses (Carroll, 2012).
A cold site can be described as an available space with very little equipment set up in it. When the personnel arrive at a cold site, the will need to set up the equipment, load the software, and make all the connections. The cold site provides an office, cooling and power just in case there is a power outage in the main disaster site. It is considered the most cost-efficient backup in disaster recovery because there are minimal start-up costs. For efficient services to be restored, the previous back-ups from the different off-storage sites must be brought to the cold room. Integral hardware components also need to be set up before disaster recovery can begin (Carroll, 2012).
A warm site is a disaster recovery site whereby the equipment is readily available and set up for the personnel to begin using. However, in a warm site, the personnel must load the latest data by themselves or restore the data on their own (Carroll, 2012).
The organization that I work for has employed a hot disaster recovery site. Several organizations employ the disaster recovery services to prevent expensive disruptions that may arise because of either man-made or natural disasters. As one of the biggest financial institutions in the region, the bank that I work for cannot afford to have its services paralyzed owing to a disaster hitting the original site. The hot site is essentially an exact copy of the bank’s original data center, and its infrastructure. The hot site has a cooling system, a back-up power generator, office space, and servers. The equipment is updated constantly with the latest information from the bank’s original data center. The synchronizing of data and information as well as activities between the hot site and the main data center reduces the downtime and ensures minimal impact when a disaster strikes the original site.
I agree with the bank’s recovery site strategy. This is because a hot site is very beneficial to an organization such as the bank. If operations in the main data center are disrupted for any reason, the bank can resume its operations instantaneously. This will ensure financial transactions such as online banking are not disrupted inconveniencing the esteemed customer. The bank can continue operating as if under normal conditions.
The problem with this type of redundancy is that it is not cheap. The company has to invest a lot of money and personnel in order to make the hot site operational within a short period. However, a cost benefit analysis will help the company determine if the benefits of having the hot site outweigh the costs. In the bank’s case, the cost benefit analysis will show that it would be very beneficial for the company to operate a hot site. The bank’s headquarters are located in an area that is prone to frequent earthquakes. This significantly increases the chances that the bank’s site will be affected or damaged by an earthquake. Therefore, the hot site is the best alternative for the company.
The company is also looking at cheaper alternatives to the hot site disaster recovery plan. The Disaster Recovery as a Service is one such alternative. It is cloud based and has an attractive pay as you go pricing model. The pricing model is cheaper than the cost of maintaining and operating the hot site. The use of a virtual platform minimizes the recovery time or the downtime after a disaster strikes the main site (Mishra, 2011)
Carroll, A. (2012,Aug 22). Hot and cold sites for data recovery. Lifeline Data Centers. Retrieved on 28/10/2015 from http://www.lifelinedatacenters.com/chicago-disaster-recovery/hot-and-cold-sides-for-data-recovery/
Mishra, N. (2011, Oct 25). Advantages of disaster recovery as a service. Retrieved on 28/10/2015 from http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/10/25/advantages-of-disaster-recovery-as-a-service/