It is already very well known that backups are essential. The frequency with which you you backup your nuke data should depend largely on how stable it is, how often it changes, how dynamic your nuke community is.
Having that recent backup is the first, and most important, step to recovery.
But where to thereafter?
If you have some sort of data problem, perhaps the backup is all you need. This equips you to purge and restore your database. But what if the problem is more fundamental? What if your host is down? What if the signs are of a very lengthy outage?
Well, this is where the 'cold-standby' comes into play. This essentially is an alternative host, perhaps a cheap one, which has nuke pre-loaded.
The idea is that, as soon as serious problems arise with the original host, you simply change the namserver pointers to your backup host. Whilst these are resolving, you restore the most up-to-date data to that copy.
No, it isn't ideal, which is why some people go for more complex and costly solutions... but it does pretty much guarantee that your outage will be no more than 24-36 hours.
Should the original host recover, there's no problem. You just switch back the nameservers. For a short period some visitors may hit the backup site, and some the original, but at least downtime is minimized.
These really are basic and common sense steps that can be taken to offer at least some protection against disaster or crisis situations. They are probably adequate for most sites. If, however, you absolutely can't afford any downtime... speak to a good host, and have your check book ready!
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