Disaster Recovery Tip: Know Your RTO and RPO (Recovery Time/Point Objectives)

Disaster Recovery RTO RPO

Do you know your RTOs and RPOs? According to a recent article in Small Business Trends, as many as one in six executives don’t.

What is RTO?

A recovery time objective (RTO) is the amount of time it takes for a business to become operational after an event starting from the moment the recovery process is begun. Every moment of that RTO can cost your business.

What does recovery look like?

Recovery may mean something a bit different for each organization, but in general disaster recovery means recovery after:

  • A data loss or breach
  • A malware or ransomware attack
  • Server crashes or website disasters
  • Localized problems like storms and power outages

What is RPO?

A recovery point objective (RPO) is how far back and at which intervals your data is backed up. RPO is a big factor in the cost of the disaster recovery solution. Take these two examples:

  • Daily backups of your company file server for the last 90 days.
  • Hourly backups of your database server for the last week

Which do you think would cost more to back up? It depends on a few factors, such as data size and data change rate. But let’s assume data size was about the same. Then, the second example of hourly backups (168 restore points) would likely cost more than daily (90 restore points). Especially because a higher data change rate can be assumed for a database.

How should I decide on and set my RTOs/RPOs?

Start with a disaster recovery plan that creates backups and redundancies to provide recovery in minutes, not hours or days (RTO), and that clearly identifies how much time/data you can afford to lose per system (RPO). SWAT Systems can assist with striking the balance between cost and business-safe RTOs/RPOs. If you would like assistance, please reach out and we can set up a complimentary consultation and help your business bulletproof it’s uptime!

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