June 24, 2016

Posted in:


Disaster Recovery Basics

Startup Stock Photos

Unexpected disastrous events like power outages or storms can force even the most secure sites to experience downtime, and if timed poorly enough, it can be a critical hit to your business—especially if you’re a data-driven organization. Take, for example, Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Sandy shocked major east coast metropolitan areas with estimated damages exceeding $67 billion (NOAA). Rarely can businesses tolerate any longer than an hour of downtime before they begin to experience significant revenue loss or other adverse business impacts. When your website isn’t running, customers can’t reach you online.

That being said, there are measures that can be taken to ensure your website is protected in these situations and to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

Cold Sites

The most straightforward disaster recovery (DR) site is a cold site. This setup will provide your system with power and network connectivity for your data to be replicated in case disaster strikes, but it won’t get you back to normal in an instantaneous fashion. Also, with this option, there is no storage component, so in the event of a disaster, you will have to account for additional time to have the backed-up data and hardware moved to a new location (but it will still give you the peace of mind that you aren’t stuck at square one). However, you will need to rely on your hosting partner or engineers and support team to get the site back online.

Warm Sites

A warm site is the second fastest DR option to get your site back to its normal operating state. They provide all of the power and networking capabilities of cold sites, and they add servers and storage with the hardware pre-installed and pre-configured. You will still need to transition all of the data to the systems, but warm sites will be back up and running much more quickly.

Hot Sites

And now for the cream-of-the-crop in the DR world – hot sites. This option represents your fastest solution to getting your site and data live again. These sites are primed and ready for disaster as a live backup of the website (and its data) is kept on servers to ensure that when disaster strikes, the site will immediately be up and running again on a separate server in a different location. If your website or database is critical to your organization’s everyday operations, hot site disaster recovery is crucial, but keep in mind this is not the easiest or most inexpensive backup option available.

Final Thoughts

During a disaster, it can be difficult to figure out how to recover. But with some careful foresight, it’s easy to see how you can be proactive and expect the best while planning for the worst. We’d recommend digging into your current site’s DR plan prior to making a move for a new backup plan.

In the event that you are concerned about your current plan (or the lack thereof), please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to discuss how we can help with our managed hosting packages, and the DR options we provide free of charge with some of our hosting plans.

Go back