RTO/RPO

Without measurements, how will you know if you succeed? 
 

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One of the fundamental principles of creating a solid backup and recovery, disaster recovery and business continuity strategy is the generation of your goals for recovery.  In the backup world, these goals are referred to as Recovery Point Objectives and Recovery Time Objectives.

Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs)  refer to the maximum amount of data (in terms of time) that you can afford to lose.   They can be expressed in seconds, minutes, hours or days.  For example, if you are running an emergency management system (EMS), you may require that all phone call records are recoverable in the event of a disaster, so you would have a RPO of seconds.  Whereas your static intranet may not store critical data, and a recovery point of 1 day is more than adequate.  Recovery points may also encompass archival requirements, where annual data or quarterly data needs to be recoverable to meet compliance requirements.

Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) refer to the maximum amount of time that you can afford to be without your data and systems. This number will vary wildly, as there are critical operations systems that will have sub-second recovery time requirements (see Instant Recovery) and less critical systems that can be down for weeks without impacting revenue.   

The best DR plans are based on meeting predetermined goals -- ensuring that  right level data is being recovered and how quickly that information needs to be brought online. These two factors drive the backup and recovery solution selection, you need to ensure you have a tool that meets the needs of your data protection strategy.