RTO and RPO – What Is Their Role in Your Disaster Recovery Plan

2. March 2021

Organisations offering crucial services to their customers simply cannot afford extended periods of system and network downtime.

Having said that, unexpected issues like natural disasters, human error and power outages can happen at any point in time resulting in the loss of valuable time and services. This is one of the primary reasons why every business should not only have a disaster recovery plan in place but also ensure that it’s frequently tested.

You also need to make sure that your business continuity plan covers the 2 most crucial parameters – RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective)

Accounting for these parameters can assist your organisation in creating an optimal retrieval strategy that’s unique to the solutions you offer.

When it comes to RTO and RPO, however, there’s a lot of information that you need to take in. This is why our IT professionals at Redpalm have created this comprehensive guide explaining the importance of these parameters in your recovery plan.

Let’s take a look!

 

RTO and RPO – What Do They Mean?

RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is about system and network downtime. Put simply, it indicates how quickly your services will recover and how soon your business will be back in the driver’s seat following a hold up in your operations.

What’s more, sometimes it’s also described as the maximum time of system downtime your organisation can tolerate.

On the other hand, RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is about the loss of data. It shows the number of hours your business can survive without the lost data before you exceed your bearable threshold. This will, of course, vary from one business to another.

For more information on how including RTO and RPO in your disaster recovery plan can benefit your business, click here!

 

RTO and RPO – What Is the Difference?

At first, both RTO and RPO might seem similar to you; however, they’re completely different. You could think of them as two different points in time – past and future.

While the Recovery Point Objective is about looking back in time, The Recovery Time Objective is more about looking at the future of your business.

RPO represents the amount of time between your last data backup and failure as a means of measuring the amount of data lost during a downtime. However, RTO indicates the amount of time you’ll require to resume normal operations; this needs to be calculated from the time your users were affected.

To better understand these two terms, let’s visualise them with the help of an analogy:

Let’s imagine that you’ve been working on a report on your computer and suddenly there’s a power outage. Here, you can think of RPO as the last time you saved your document – the amount of data (or work) that could be lost before you face serious consequences. Now, think of RTO as the number of hours you can survive being offline.

If you’re on a tight deadline, then your RTO is likely to be lower because you need to be online as soon as possible to recover your data and resume work.

If you want to learn more about these terms, contact us today!

 

RTO and RPO – How Can You Define These for Your Business?

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to how much data loss and system downtime your organisation could tolerate.

This means just one thing – RPO and RTO in a disaster recovery plan can differ for every business. Moreover, if you’re outsourcing your IT support, these terms are going to be defined in different ways in your SLAs (service level agreements).

Building on that, RPO and RTO parameters also vary between your services and applications. It is, therefore, good practice to evaluate these terms and classify them on the basis of which parameter guarantees that your company will be up and running at all times.

For instance, you could leverage a 3 tier model to designate your services:

 

Tier 1 – Mission Critical Services

These services are important for your business to be in the driver’s seat at all times. For instance, it could be your business’ power supply unit wherein all the servers housed.

When it comes to Tier 1 recovery, ensure that it’s fixed within 0 to 2 hours.

 

Tier 2 – Business Critical Services

Services like your online payment processing systems, for example, are crucial to ensure that your business operations are running as efficiently and successfully as possible. That said, the longer these services are unavailable, the more reputational and financial damage it’s going to cause your business.

Make sure that the recovery time for your Tier 2 services is somewhere between 4 to 24 hours.

 

Tier 3 – Non-Critical Services

While you could temporarily survive without them, non-critical services such as the phone lines in your workplace also contribute towards ensuring that your business is functioning as normal.

This is, of course, going to be your lowest priority when facing a downtime; nonetheless, make sure these services are restored within 24-48 hours.

The bottom line here is that every service within your business plays a vital role in ensuring the successful functioning of your operations – fixing them as quickly as possible, therefore, needs to be your priority. 

Getting them inventoried in your RTO and RPO can help you with the same while ensuring minimal downtime.

 

Balance Between What’s Ideal & What’s Realistic

In a perfect world, your RTO and RPO could be as close to zero.

Put simply, if you ever faced a downtime, you’ll already have a backup strategy in place; meaning there’d be next to no data loss and your business would be online in no time.

However, in the real world, this can be extremely expensive and might not be required for SMEs. This is exactly why you can’t have a “one-size-fits-all” approach towards your disaster recovery plan. Additionally, setting up and frequently testing the RPO and RTO parameters can ensure that you’re prepared for any and every kind of cyber threat or disaster.

 

Contact Redpalm for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Solutions

At Redpalm, we have a team of trusted and experienced IT professionals who are well-versed with the latest technologies; they also have the capability to explain intricate IT issues in a way that is easy to understand.

Our team will not only help you create a robust business continuity plan but also ensure that it’s maintained and tested frequently.

For professional business continuity and disaster recovery solutions, give us a call today!