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What are RTO’s and RPO’s?

Backup and restore is an essential practice of periodically copying your data in case of disasters involving power outages, disruption, or cyberattacks. RTO and RPO are metrics that can be used to design recovery plans. Those metrics can help you to define recovery time, set the frequency of backups and determine procedures for recovery.

A Disaster Recovery plan can help to meet RTO and RPO metrics. They are the key performance indicators when building the right strategy to recover data and keep business continuity.

RTO (Recovery Time Objective)

Is a metric that defines the time frame for an IT team to respond and recover in case of any disaster happens to ensure business continuity. RTO can specify how quickly the business needs the system to recover from a disaster.

RPO (Recovery Point Objective)

Measures the maximum acceptable amount of data loss that the business can afford to lose in case of a disaster. At a point, it does not damage business. RPO helps to determine how often a data backup must be performed within the company.

How to define RTO and RPO strategies for business:

Techniques can be applied for business continuity and disaster recovery plan. The plan will vary depending on business goals and activities. It is essential to define the maximum acceptable downtime and tolerance for data loss within the business system. Also, the budget must be considered as well to determine recovery objectives.

Some factors must be considered, such as:

Database system (mission-critical or non-critical):

RTO and RPO can be evaluated from near-zero minutes to 24 hours, following the Three-tier model.

Define backup strategy

The business needs to have in place database backups as often as possible. By doing so, the organisation will present a shorter RPO, which means faster recovery and less data at risk.

Routinely perform tests for backups

The backup must be tested regularly to avoid future issues; even a database backup can be corrupted. When trying the backup process, you must ensure that the RPO is met.

Assess Disaster Recovery Plan

The Disaster Recovery plan must be tested to ensure compliance and efficiency when encountering a disaster. Performing a test environment is recommended.

Therefore, analysing RTO and RPO requirements is essential for a business to create a Disaster Recovery plan. It must be aligned with business recovery objectives and crucial aspects of the company.

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