sContinuing our series on IT and software usage topics, this is the last on the topic of types of backups. A hot site backup is a method of providing redundancy in which a duplicate of the original site of the primary server of organization is kept. It exists with the full computer systems and almost complete backups of user data. There is real time synchronisation. The sites completely mirrors the primary’s entire data environment using a WAN (wide area network) via specialized software.
After a disruption to the primary site, the hot site comes into action so that there is relocation with minimal losses to normal operations, preferably in real time or in smallest interval of time. Ideally, a hot site will replace primary’s function immediately or in up to a few hours. In fact, any backup site that is unable to provide immediate support or fails to perform it is not a hot site. This depends on the maturity of a firm with respect to the ISO 22301 approach.
In hot site backup personnel may move to the hot site, although it is possible for the hot site to be operational for data processing purposes before any staff relocates. Organizations might have designed their backup to have a lesser capacity for hot-site than primary site. This is done with the hope that the load on backup will not be for long as the primary will get into action after repair.
Cost of hot sites data backup
Hot sites data backup is the most expensive among cold, warm or hot backup to maintain and operate. Typically, businesses use this, especially the ones that operate real time processes, for e.g. eCommerce businesses, financial firms, government agencies, etc.
The most important feature of hot sites data backup systems is that the parallel running of production system and the main datacentre. This method enables minimum downtime of business operations thereby removing any adverse effects.
Certain situations nevertheless requires to immediately provide backup system. Such a design is very expensive. It requires cost benefit analysis, which is why only major firms and mission-critical processes opt for this level of redundancy.
Source of hot-site backup
So, a good hot-backup site has virtual mirror image of firm’s entire data centre, with all the systems in place and waiting only for the last possible backup. This is required to be able to take over immediately.
A hot backup site can be from three sources:
- From companies that specialise in disaster recovery services
- A company’s owned and operated backup location
- A shared data centre facility with another organization to get shared-service via an agreement
Each of the above approach has its own plus points and negativities. In the first case, if a firm uses services of a disaster recovery firm it gets professionals to work with. These persons have the skills in the work of creating and implementing a disaster-recovery plan. They are expensive although.
The second choice is an inexpensive option in terms of location, but the cost of backup site maintenance and keeping it “hot” is also costly. Then, you must have IT employees to work with them. This often is cheaper alternative.
But the most inexpensive of the three is to create an agreement to share data centres resources with another organization in case of disaster. In this case, the situation is quite strained because the host’s data centre needs to maintain their production as well.
Essentially, there needs to be an optimisation between the amount of urgency a company wants for backup systems and the cost it is ready to bear to maintain or use such as disaster recovery service.
With CirQ point of sale the backup of your data is in safe hands and is in the cloud. The recovery is near real time inside the cloud so you do not have to worry. This kind of service, if used in house, can become cumbersome with time and even costly if not handled properly. Apart from this there is another problem in cloud based system that it requires internet connection. So, yes in cloud based point of sale you have the best data backup but at least you should be able to connect to that backup. But smarter move can be to take offline-capable systems that you may or may not use a backup for and sync the data when network is restored.