The Importance of RPO and RTO in Data Backup Solutions

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Data security and protection is everything for companies doing business in this computer-networked day and age. Going with anything less than an absolutely airtight disaster recovery and business continuity plan that involves multiple layers of data backup is a reckless move. At best, it can cost you perhaps half a day’s worth of business; at worst, you could be facing bankruptcy and liquidation because you couldn’t regain or restore your vital-to-operations data. Many companies still don’t realize the essential importance of Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO), two key metrics in disaster recovery, data backup, and business continuity planning.

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RTO and RPO Explained

RTO, or Recovery Time Objective, is a specific target time in which to recover data following a disaster of some type (what the Wall Street Journal calls “Digital Disruption”), such as a power outage (most common form of disaster), before any significant or permanent data loss (and related financial loss) occurs. The RTO metric is determined by calculating how quickly a given business entity needs to recover the data before beginning to suffer adverse consequences from the loss. It’s a necessary metric in forming a cogent and viable disaster recovery plan, which takes into account such factors as equipment needed and overall budget.

RPO, a.k.a. Recovery Point Objective, determines the maximum allowed time period that a business can go without the lost data, based on the particular amount of data lost. Say the RTO (or ideal recovery time) is three hours – the RPO would be, hypothetically, in the range of five hours, or wider time window in which to account for data loss. It’s generally calculated by analyzing the time that occurs between data backups in relation to the potential data that could end up being lost should a disaster occur between backups. The RPO determines, then, the amount of time that businesses can be without a set amount of data before business operations begin to suffer.

Important Distinctions

While RTO and RPO are seemingly very similar, they are actually quite distinct metrics and constituent parts of a disaster recovery equation. The difference lies in their intrinsic purposes, with RTO taking into account the entirety of the business operations and all systems operating within it. RTO also more closely relates to or defines business continuity parameters. RPO, conversely, relates specifically to the data itself and how quickly a given company can recovery having lost that particular amount of data. Both RTO and RPO need to be taken into consideration when developing a viable business continuity plan.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Experts

If you need advice on disaster recovery and business continuity planning (or Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)), Globalquest is a proven leader in providing IT consulting and disaster recovery/business continuity planning in {city} using state-of-the-art technology and know-how. Contact one of our IT experts at 716-601-3524 or send us an email at today, and we can help you with all your questions or needs.


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