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Various Online Recovery Options

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There are various online recovery options.

First is a hot site which is done just like a primary IT operation comprising of computer systems and systems real time backups, data and applications. It is used when there is little or no downtime. The switchover from primary to hot site takes more than an hour but can be done faster. Users experience the switch faster than the staff. It is best used by organizations with critical operations and where downtime costs are more compared to having and maintaining the hot site for example government and financial institutions.

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The second option is a warm site which is just like a hot site but lacks data replication. It allows users to access space, equipment, utilities but requires installation of current back-ups. At times warm sites are just a copy of original sites but only provide a subset of critical data, services, and equipment. It is best for organization that can endure downtime for one or two days which is as a result of the time between when a primary site goes down and when recovery site starts working. It is best for medium-sized businesses as it is cheaper.

Third is a cold site which is basically a data recovery plan. Organizations just need to an arrangement to access a recovery site which has enough services and utilities and get to buy the essential equipment to restore IT operations. Cold sites are preferred since they have lower planning and DR costs, access to funds to cover for acquisition of equipment.

Finally, there are mobile sites which its operators construct portable structures comprising of computing equipment. They can be upgraded to colder or warmer sites depending on preparation and funding; the more the funding and preparation the warmer is warmer, the lesser is cold.


  1. Guster, D. C., Lee, O. F., & McCann, B. P. (2012). Outsourcing and replication considerations in disaster recovery planning. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 21(2), 172-183
  2. Obernuefemann, P. R. (2011). U.S. Patent No. 7,873,805. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
03 December 2019

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