RPO and RTO – What do I need to Know?

There are any number of use cases where you would need a disaster recovery solution. These can be a disaster emanating from within, such as end user error that has unexpected catastrophic results that cripples your system. There can also be outside influences, like acts of Mother Nature that could flood your data center or causes power outages.

Previously, there were limited options for large enterprises recovering from a disaster. Most organizations would build secondary sites, commonly known as a DR site, which would house identical infrastructure and contain replicated business critical data and applications that could be used if the primary site becomes unusable. Other options available included backup to tape or disk that could then be sent off site, for short or long term storage, based on an organization’s SLAs.

With recent expansion of the cloud space, Backup as a service (BaaS) simplifies the backup process, allows for immediate access to all of an organization’s data, and negates the need to manage offsite storage infrastructure. While BaaS can greatly reduce expenses for large organizations, it is a solution that can benefit companies of any size. Every organization when considering BaaS, just as they would with a more traditional data backup plan, must take into consideration the two most important parameters: recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).

Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

RTO is used to dictate your use of replication or backup to tape or disk. It is a specific target time in which to recover data following a disaster, such as a power outage, before any significant or permanent data loss occurs, and ultimately resulting in financial loss. In other words RTO is “How much time will it take to recover after an alert of business process disruption?” Although zero is the number an organization would like to use as their RTO, in reality is often much higher. Traditional backup schemas do not allow for a zero RTO, as those array based solutions can take an exorbitant amount of time to replicate data and bring it back online. BaaS can help to ensure that your data is ready when you are.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

RPO is used to dictate the allowable data loss. RPO determines the maximum allowed period of time that a business can go without the lost data, based on the particular amount of data lost. In other words RPO is “Up to what amount of time can your business be without a set amount of data before business operations begin to suffer?” Once again, companies are typically looking for a time as close to zero as possible, and BaaS can help to make that goal a reality.

While RTO and RPO are seemingly very similar, they are actually quite distinct parameters and constituents of an overall disaster recovery plan. Taking these metrics into consideration, then follow that with the cost savings, scalability, and support for an overall hybrid strategy, BaaS becomes an easy decision for many businesses.

George Chanady

Author Bio: George Chanady is a Sr. Solutions Architect for CCSI. Experienced Senior Solutions Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Strong Technical professional skilled in Storage Area Network (SAN), Domain Name System (DNS), Data Center, BladeCenter, and Cloud Applications. Currently held certifications include MCSA and AWS Certified Solutions Architect.

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