Options for a data center disaster recovery strategy

Data Center disaster recovery strategy – options

A critical component of a disaster recovery business continuity is the data center disaster recovery strategy — Hot Site, Warm Site, Mobile Facilities, Cold Site, Reciprocal Agreement, or Cloud — Which to choose and why

Data Center Recovery Strategy

Hot site

A hot site is a full or partial duplicate for a primary IT operation, including complete computer systems and near-real-time backups for systems, applications and data. In its most expensive form, mirroring software is used to keep a hot backup site and a primary site synchronized.  They typically are duplicates of existing data centers.

Warm sites

A warm site is a hot site minus data replication. That is, a warm site offers access to space, utilities and equipment, but requires current backups be installed, and systems and services brought online to become operational. A warm site may be a complete duplicate of an original site, but will typically provide only a subset of mission-critical equipment, services and data.

Mobile sites

An offshoot of a warm site is a mobile site that consists of trailers that are pre-configured to meet requirements and are flown in, moved by truck are set up in predetermined locations around the country where they can be activated during an emergency

Cold Site

Cold sites which are empty facilities, such as trailers, warehouses, open space in existing data centers specially equipped for emergency use; or simply empty buildings that are wired for power, communications and HVAC but are empty.  The cost model for each is quite different.


The cloud does work well for some mission critical applications. This includes web hosting for public applications and corporate e-mail. Other applications can be run via the web but there would be serious security concerns for sensitive information.

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Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.