Recovery Time Objective vs Recovery Point Objective Explained

RTO and RPO represent different goals in a business continuity plan (the book you pull out when something goes seriously wrong and puts your organization’s very existence into question). But what exactly is it? And how are they different?

Introduction to RTO and RPO

RTO is recovery time objective. The amount of time it takes for business operations to resume after a major failure. It is called a target because it is an object. Hopefully supported and run by the RTO.

In comparison, RPO represents r.echo point goal. This is the maximum amount of time a backup is applied. If your RTO is one month, you can restore your data from any point in time between your most recent backup and one month ago.

This flexibility is important because you can never be sure how far back you have to go to find intact data. If you find out you’ve been hacked 3 months after the hack happened, you’d better hope your RPO went back even earlier than that. If you’re recovering from a natural disaster, you’ll usually find out right away, at least.

So, at some level, the recovery time objective versus recovery point objective debate is more about how far a backup goes (RPO) versus how long it will take to restore everything (RTO).

RTO calculation

How do you evaluate the recovery time your business needs? This should be the RTO of your recovery plan. Perhaps the biggest factor is how much downtime costs your business. Service level agreements (SLAs) with customers or customers can account for a large part of the calculation, as can the amount of reputational damage or customer dissatisfaction due to downtime. After all, all of this can be measured in dollars.

Small local businesses can tolerate downtime longer with fewer consequences than companies like Google. The world’s largest search engine is going to lose exponentially more than the little shop around the corner with longer downtime.

In short, it all depends on your business and how much downtime you want to consider.

RPO Calculation

So how do you determine how much data loss you can afford in a disaster situation? Well, there will be several factors and you will have to evaluate them from your own organization’s point of view.

Consider the cost of implementing a recovery solution that provides complete protection, a recovery solution that provides enough protection to feel reasonably safe, and a recovery solution that provides minimal protection.

Now compare the cost of each of these plans to the cost of re-entering all of the lost data, the cost of actually recollecting or rebuilding the lost data, and the maximum amount of loss your business can withstand without breaking up. How much new data is lost (or how much fails to capture) while the job is paused or stopped.

System Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

What should be included in the plan? Maximizing one goal doesn’t always mean compromising the other. Some business continuity plans do not see recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives as opposed to each other.

A good backup solution is key to any disaster recovery plan, but depending on your business type and recovery strategy, other aspects may be equally or more important.

A backup creates a copy of all your important data, ideally a well-protected offsite copy. Disaster recovery uses these backups to rebuild your work if something really terrible happens.

business continuity strategy

How do you create a sustainable plan to avoid downtime? You may need to balance the Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective values ​​here. However, good planning will create enough space for both.

Best practice implementation

There are several best practices you can implement to ensure the greatest possible results for your business.

  • Plan in advance how you will rebuild after disasters of all kinds and sizes.
  • Make sure your backup, hardware, security and personnel procedures are up to date and fit for purpose.
  • Keep your workforce up to date with a business continuity plan.
  • Back up more than just your data – install an independent backup power system if you have the resources.
  • Test your recovery infrastructure regularly to make sure you are actually protecting your users.

last thoughts

Remember that recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives do not describe a true dichotomy. You can easily have both on the same plan. In fact, you really should. And improving one shouldn’t mean lowering the other.

Consider whether it is better to find a business continuity, disaster recovery or data backup provider. A company like Liquid Web may be a better and more cost-effective solution than an in-house team.

Source

RTO and RPO represent different goals in a business continuity plan (the book you pull out when something goes seriously wrong and puts your organization’s very existence into question). But what exactly is it? And how are they different?

Introduction to RTO and RPO

RTO is recovery time objective. The amount of time it takes for business operations to resume after a major failure. It is called a target because it is an object. Hopefully supported and run by the RTO.

In comparison, RPO represents r.echo point goal. This is the maximum amount of time a backup is applied. If your RTO is one month, you can restore your data from any point in time between your most recent backup and one month ago.

This flexibility is important because you can never be sure how far back you have to go to find intact data. If you find out you’ve been hacked 3 months after the hack happened, you’d better hope your RPO went back even earlier than that. If you’re recovering from a natural disaster, you’ll usually find out right away, at least.

So, at some level, the recovery time objective versus recovery point objective debate is more about how far a backup goes (RPO) versus how long it will take to restore everything (RTO).

RTO calculation

How do you evaluate the recovery time your business needs? This should be the RTO of your recovery plan. Perhaps the biggest factor is how much downtime costs your business. Service level agreements (SLAs) with customers or customers can account for a large part of the calculation, as can the amount of reputational damage or customer dissatisfaction due to downtime. After all, all of this can be measured in dollars.

Small local businesses can tolerate downtime longer with fewer consequences than companies like Google. The world’s largest search engine is going to lose exponentially more than the little shop around the corner with longer downtime.

In short, it all depends on your business and how much downtime you want to consider.

RPO Calculation

So how do you determine how much data loss you can afford in a disaster situation? Well, there will be several factors and you will have to evaluate them from your own organization’s point of view.

Consider the cost of implementing a recovery solution that provides complete protection, a recovery solution that provides enough protection to feel reasonably safe, and a recovery solution that provides minimal protection.

Now compare the cost of each of these plans to the cost of re-entering all of the lost data, the cost of actually recollecting or rebuilding the lost data, and the maximum amount of loss your business can withstand without breaking up. How much new data is lost (or how much fails to capture) while the job is paused or stopped.

System Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

What should be included in the plan? Maximizing one goal doesn’t always mean compromising the other. Some business continuity plans do not see recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives as opposed to each other.

A good backup solution is key to any disaster recovery plan, but depending on your business type and recovery strategy, other aspects may be equally or more important.

A backup creates a copy of all your important data, ideally a well-protected offsite copy. Disaster recovery uses these backups to rebuild your work if something really terrible happens.

business continuity strategy

How do you create a sustainable plan to avoid downtime? You may need to balance the Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective values ​​here. However, good planning will create enough space for both.

Best practice implementation

There are several best practices you can implement to ensure the greatest possible results for your business.

  • Plan in advance how you will rebuild after disasters of all kinds and sizes.
  • Make sure your backup, hardware, security and personnel procedures are up to date and fit for purpose.
  • Keep your workforce up to date with a business continuity plan.
  • Back up more than just your data – install an independent backup power system if you have the resources.
  • Test your recovery infrastructure regularly to make sure you are actually protecting your users.

last thoughts

Remember that recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives do not describe a true dichotomy. You can easily have both on the same plan. In fact, you really should. And improving one shouldn’t mean lowering the other.

Consider whether it is better to find a business continuity, disaster recovery or data backup provider. A company like Liquid Web may be a better and more cost-effective solution than an in-house team.

Source

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