Hot tips for building a warm site


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If your organization can't risk downtime, you need a warm site -- and advice on avoiding the pitfalls of building one

Enterprises bend over backward to ensure a reliable, redundant infrastructure. Whether that means deploying hardware with redundant components or building multicarrier WANs with automatic failover, the constant battle against productivity-killing downtime drives many decisions and eats a big chunk of the budget.

The pinnacle of redundancy can be found in the warm site: a completely self-sufficient server and storage architecture at a remote location, constantly kept in sync with the production site. Building a warm site from scratch has always been considered an expensive and difficult prospect -- until now, thanks to virtualization and inexpensive, replication-ready SAN hardware. Businesses that never would have considered implementing a warm site are currently in a position to do so.

But even with these technological and cost-basis gains, building a warm site has its challenges. Here are three pieces of advice I give based on the situations I often see in the wild.

Manage expectations

Setting business-side expectations is important in any IT project. With backup or disaster recovery initiatives, it's absolutely essential.

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