Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity planning is needed to tolerate  the failure of  systems due to different reasons and recover from the failure to continue operations. Typical business scenarios for BCP are: 

  • Fault and intrusion tolerance in day-to-day operations
  • Disaster tolerance recovery
  • Data center migration or consolidation

Continuity Strategies

When continuity planning team is developing the organiztion's contingency approach, the team can choose one or serveral stratagies will be employed is usually limited by the consideration of cost. In general , there are three strategic options that make provisions for exclusion-use options are hot sites, warm sites and cold sites. The three shared-use options aretime-share , service-bureaus, and mutual agreement.

Hot Sites
A hot site is fully configured computer facility , with all services , communications links, and physical plant operations. Hot sites duplicate computing resources , peripherals , phone systems, applications and workstations. Essentially , it is a duplicate facility that only needs the latest data backups and the personnel to function. If the organization uses one of the data services listed in the following sections , a hot site can fully functional within minutes. It is , therefore , the most expensive alternative available. Other disadvantages include the need to provide maintenance for all the systems and equipment at the hot site, as well as physical and information security. However , if the organization requires a round-the-clock capability for near-time recovery , the hot site is optimum strategy.

Warm Site
A warm site provides many of the same services and options of the hot site , but typically software applications are either not included , or not installed and configured. It frequently includes computing equipment and peripherals with servers but not client workstations . A warm site has many of the advantages of a hot site , but at lower cost .The down side is that it requires several hours , perhaps days to make a warm site fully functional.

Cold Site
A cold site provides only rudimentary services and facilities. No computer hardware or peripherals are provided . All communications services must be installed after the site is occupied . A cold site in an empty room with standard heating , air conditioning , and electrical services . Everything else is an added cost option . Despite these disadvantages , a cold site may be better than nothing . the primary advantage of cost. The most useful feature of this approach is to reduce contention for suitable floor space should a widespread disaster strike, but some organizations are prepared to struggle to lease new space rather than pay maintenance fees on a cold site.

Whiteman , E.W and Mattord, J.H (2007) Principles of Incident Response and Disaster Recovery