Join Ed Liberman for an in-depth discussion in this video Site types, part of CompTIA Server+ (SK0-004) Cert Prep: 6 Disaster Recovery.
- [Instructor] Despite all of our planning and efforts to try to prevent them, disasters will still occur. Now, the level of devastation that we have with these disasters can range anywhere from a single file that got deleted all the way to an entire office being wiped out. So, while there's quite the range of devastation, there is one thing that you absolutely have to know.
That is that the occurrence that these disasters is inevitable. Now what separates organizations that survive these disasters from those that don't, have to do with preparation. And the success of this preparation is determined by the selection and implementation of various backup techniques. Now one of those backup techniques is having a backup site. So I'd like to talk to you about the different types of sites that are used.
The first is something known as a hot site. Now a hot site is a separate facility that contains all the resources necessary for full operation. So, pretty much everything you can think of ranging from the server room, along with all the utilities and wiring and networking, along with the servers and the computers, potential backup power sources, et cetera, et cetera. In other words, it's essentially an identical location physically to your main location that you're trying to protect.
The only thing that would need to be restored out in a hot site would be your organization's data. So, in the event that you had a problem at one location and you needed to move to this hot site, all you have to do is restore data and usually if you're doing it correctly, you only have to restore a partial amount of data because you should've been keeping that location with a backup of the data along the way. And the only data that you should have to backup is anything that changed in between the last time that you backed up to that location.
Now another type of site is a cold site. Now this is a facility that contains only electrical and communications wiring, various utilities, and things like that. So, it's kind of a facility that doesn't really have any of the actual communications equipment. It doesn't have your networking devices, it doesn't have your computers, it's just a building that has already been built and ready to have everything installed. So in this case, you're going to have to actually do a lot more in the event that you need to go to this backup site.
So you need to keep in mind that a cold site is going to provide the slowest recovery, whereas we just saw that the hot site is very fast recovery, but a cold site is the least expensive to maintain because you don't have as much that you need to have in there. So in between the hot site and the cold site, we have our warm site. This is probably the most widely implemented alternate backup location.
Now a warm site is another backup facility that will contain electrical and communications wiring, all your utilities, and networking equipment, and you'll even have computers and stuff but usually you end up still having to restore all of your software, your data, and everything from that perspective. So the bottom line is is that the idea behind, and by the way, I think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears if you've ever heard that story, with this porridge is too hot, this is too cold, hey this one's just right, that's why the warm site is so popular.
But basically, it's an idea having these three different levels ranging anywhere from the most basic, almost bare metal type facility, all the way up to a facility that is identical to the main operational facility, and you need to find the happy medium somewhere in between to where it meets your cost requirements and your recovery time requirements.
So you want to look for something right in the middle.