I was reading through some documentation and found a piece on creating a cold Standby vCenter server. This used to be a common practice with vCenter 2.5 and it worked well as vCenter itself was more or less stateless.
With vSphere 4.0 something changed. Although at first it might not seem substantial it actually is. As of vSphere 4.0 VMware started using ADAM. ADAM is most commonly referred to as the component which enables Linked Mode. Linked Mode gives you the opportunity to manage multiple vCenter Server from a single pane of glass.
Not only will you have a single pane of glass you will also have a central store for roles and permissions. This is key! Roles and permissions are stored in ADAM.
Lets assume you have just a single vCenter Server and are not using Linked Mode. This will not impact the way vCenter Server stores its roles and permissions… it will still use ADAM. Even when cloned daily full consistency can not be guaranteed and as such I would personally not recommend using a cold Standby vCenter Server unless you are willing to take the risks and have fully tested it.