What you will learn in this tip: Disaster recovery and business continuity professionals often turn to hot sites and cold sites for disaster recovery planning. This tip provides a good starting point for those who are investigating hot/cold site options, and trying to decide which option is best.
What is a hot site? Think of a hot site for disaster recovery as a secure, hardened building that's equipped to support your current IT production activities right now. The building has equipment (e.g., servers) that's comparable to your existing infrastructure; it has your principal business applications in place (these were determined by a business impact analysis); and will also have access to your most current data (usually by some form of data backup activity). The hot site will also have conference rooms for your disaster recovery staff to meet, areas to change clothes if needed, food and beverages available, and possibly even a store to buy clothing, and an exercise area.
What is a cold site?
By contrast, a cold site disaster recovery site is a secure facility that is mostly empty space -- awaiting the arrival of equipment and personnel in the aftermath of a disaster declaration -- and has power, access to communications services, lighting, and possibly preconfigured work areas with furniture, phones, fax machines and copiers. But most often, it is an empty area that is ready for occupancy by customers who have declared a disaster and will be setting up their recovery site in that building.
More of the SearchDisasterRecovery article from Paul Kirvan