Cold Backup

What Does Cold Backup Mean?

A cold backup is a backup that is performed while a database or system is offline or in shutdown mode. By contrast, other kinds of backups may be performed while a database is running and data is flowing into or out of the database or data warehouse structure.


The idea behind a cold backup is that if the backup occurs while a database is not running, it is easier to back up some files and forms of information that may be compromised if the backup attempt transpires while those files are in flux.

Techopedia Explains Cold Backup

Experts have discussed certain scenarios and operating systems (OS) where a cold backup may be a better option. On the other hand, a cold backup’s main drawback is that for data recovery to occur, a system essentially must stop.

Some managers get around the idea of downtime by conducting cold backups on dormant shifts, when data activity is already very low or nonexistent. Cold backups can be useful for disaster recovery and other plans to safeguard valuable data, and can be performed using various backup media, such as tape or disks, or by routing data from the offline database to a cloud hosting system.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…