Cold Site, Hot Site, and Warm Site – CompTIA Security+ SY0-401: 2.8

If you’re managing a disaster recovery plan, then you’ll need some off-site options. In this video, you’ll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of cold sites, hot sites, and warm sites.

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If you’re planning for a disaster, then you’re probably going to want to have an off-site facility where you’ll be able to take all of your systems and get your organization back up and running should a problem ever occur. So as you’re pricing out and looking for different environments, you’ve also got a lot of different options on how you configure and set up these remote locations should a disaster occur.

If your disaster recovery location is a cold site, well, that means that it is essentially an empty building. There is probably some cooling systems. There is probably other facilities available. But there’s really no hardware there waiting for you. There’s nothing available for rack space. These are things that you would have to bring yourself should an emergency occur.

And of course your data is not there, either. You need to make sure that you have a way to get to your data backups and that you have a way to transport them to this cold site. You also have no people here generally. So this is in a remote location. You have to think about how you will get people from one facility to this backup facility, this disaster recovery facility so that you are able to keep your systems up and running.

A warm site is one step up from a cold site. So it may be a location where you have all of your equipment, but the hardware is stored in a separate room. Maybe it’s not out on the data center floor. If a problem occurs and you call a disaster, someone will show up at that facility, start pulling things out of your closet and putting them in racks in your location.

That means all you have to worry about, then, is your data. Bring your backups with you. Bring any other data that you might need. And now you can load it onto these systems that you might have at this warm site.

A hot site is the far extreme, where you have an exact duplication of everything. All of those systems are up and running. You’ve got a complete duplicate of a data center at a remote site. So whenever you’re buying hardware, you naturally buy duplicates of that hardware, put it on your hot site, get it up and running. In fact, you’re usually updating all of your software, all of your configurations, everything in that site so that you can flip a switch and have everything move from one site to the other. Maybe it’s not quite as simple as flipping a single switch, but if you’ve got a hot site available, it becomes relatively simple to move all of your technical resources, all of your IT infrastructure really from one data center to another in a very, very short period of time.