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What are RPO and RTO?

RPO and RTO are terms commonly used for Disaster Recovery.

Recovery Point Objective is the amount of data you could afford to lose if a server had a failure. For example, if you back up your server once a night, your RPO could be 24 Hours, where if you replicate your server in real-time your RPO could be seconds.

Recovery Time Objective is the time that it could take to get your systems back up and running after a failure.

Have a question about RPO and RTO? Contact the team.


Why are RPO and RTO important in Disaster Recovery planning?

The real-world application of RPO and RTO can make or break a successful Disaster Recovery strategy and a complete understanding is more than just a definition.

The business practicalities of RPO

As mentioned above, RPO is the volume of data your company deems acceptable to lose in a disaster scenario. Usually organisations chose to backup their data once a day. This means that if an incident occurs the organisation could lose up to 24 hours of data.

For businesses with large volumes of consistently changing data, an RPO of 24 hours may not be acceptable and a replication solution, such as Veeam Cloud Connect Replication could be more appropriate.

Replication can provide a near-instant Recovery Point, replicating all changes to a secondary location, where it remains should a data incident occur.


The business practicalities of RTO

Recovery Time Objective is just as important as the Recovery Point Objective, as it determines the length of time it will take you to recover the data after an incident.

The Recovery Time Objective is influenced by business factors including the method of recovery and the volume of data that needs to be recovered.
If you have an online backup solution and you need to restore data to the site through the Internet, the speed of data transfer is going to be limited by your Internet connection.

It’s not uncommon for 6TB of data to take around 72 hours (three days) to restore to the original site, on a typical 100Mbps business Internet connection (15 hours on a 1Gbps circuit). For many organisations, that amount of downtime is costly, both financially and in terms of business reputation.

The same could be said for organisations that are using Tape within their backup strategy, trying to restore the same 6TB of data that has been compressed onto an LTO-8 Tape.

Based on a likely 15-30Mbps restore time, this would mean a recovery time of 55 hours (2.5 days). Large amounts of Tape data from a backup can be slow to restore due to the non-sequential reading and re-hydration of compression. Backing up to local NAS devices would greatly improve performance of local restores.

On the other hand, with replication, should an incident occur, the replicas of your machines can be made live as soon as you need them and the recovery time in this scenario would simply be the time it takes for the IT manager to invoke and the time it takes to restart the servers.

Although the desired RPO and RTO may be simple to achieve on paper, it’s important to fully assess the real-life practicalities of your Disaster Recovery plan and the real-world consequences for your business. Solutions like Veeam can provide an out of the box, simple, all in one solution to meet any of your RPO and RTO needs.


Speak to the team

If you’d like help identifying the correct RPO and RTO for your organisation, or to simply find out more, contact the team using the form below or by calling +44 (0) 3453 888 327.