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A hot site is a commercial disaster recovery service that allows a business to continue computer and network operations in the event of a computer or equipment disaster. For example, if an enterprise's data center becomes inoperable, that enterprise can move all data processing operations to a hot site. A hot site has all the equipment needed for the enterprise to continue operation, including office space and furniture, telephone jacks and computer equipment.
A cold site is a similar type of disaster recovery service that provides office space, but the customer provides and installs all the equipment needed to continue operations. A cold site is less expensive, but it takes longer to get an enterprise in full operation after the disaster.
Typically, a business has an annual contract with a company that offers hot and cold site services with a monthly service charge. Some disaster recovery services offer backup services so that all company data is available regardless of whether a hot site or cold site is used. If an enterprise must use a hot or cold site, there are usually daily fees and other incidental fees in addition to the basic service charge.