Miscellaneous

What Are RPOs and RTOs in Disaster Recovery Planning?

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a cloud-based solution that provides organizations with a comprehensive and cost-effective way to protect their data and applications from unexpected disasters.

Most businesses understand the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place, but many are unsure of what exactly they need to include in their plan. One of the most important aspects of any DR plan is understanding your organization’s RPOs and RTOs.

What is an RPO?

The Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the maximum amount of data loss that your organization can tolerate in the event of a disaster. This is typically expressed in terms of time, such as “we cannot afford to lose more than one day’s worth of data.”

Your RPO will be determined by a number of factors, including the type of data being stored, how often it changes, and the impact of losing that data. For example, if you are storing financial data that changes hourly, your RPO would likely be much lower than if you were storing infrequently accessed documents.

What is an RTO?

The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the maximum amount of time that your organization can tolerate being without access to its data or applications. This is typically expressed in terms of time, such as “we need our systems up and running within four hours.”

Your RTO will be determined by a number of factors, including the criticality of the data or applications, the frequency with which they are accessed, and the impact of being without them. For example, if you are storing mission-critical data that must be accessed in real-time, your RTO would likely be much lower than if you were storing documents that can be accessed offline.

Why Are RPOs and RTOs Important?

RPOs and RTOs are important because they help determine the scope of your disaster recovery plan. Without knowing your RPOs and RTOs, it would be difficult to know what needs to be included in your plan and how to prioritize those items.

For example, if you have a low RPO but a high RTO, you will need to focus on ensuring that your data is backed up frequently and that you have a way to restore it quickly. On the other hand, if you have a high RPO but a low RTO, you will need to focus on ensuring that your data is backed up continuously and that you have a way to access it immediately.

What happens if my RPO is higher than my RTO?

If your RPO is higher than your RTO, it means that you are willing to tolerate a longer period of data loss in the event of a disaster. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you will need to have a plan in place for how to deal with that data loss.

For example, if you have a 3-hour RPO and a 4-hour RTO, you will need to have a plan for how to deal with the fact that you may lose up to 3 hours of data in the event of a disaster. One option would be to create duplicate copies of your data so that you always have at least 3 hours of data that is up-to-date. Another option would be to accept the fact that you may lose up to 3 hours of data and have a plan for how to recover from that loss.

Concluding Thoughts

RPOs and RTOs are two of the most important aspects of any disaster recovery plan. Without knowing your RPOs and RTOs, it would be difficult to know what needs to be included in your plan and how to prioritize those items. However, it is also important to remember that RPOs and RTOs are not static; they will change over time as your business grows and evolves. As such, it is important to review your RPOs and RTOs on a regular basis to ensure that they are still relevant.