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Is Your Backup Strategy Covering BOTH Business Objectives?

Business backup strategies must align with two very important, and yet different, business objectives. They are called Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). In this article we will discuss just what those two things are, and their differences.



RPO is the maximum age the data will be that you are recovering. Think of it as how far do you have to roll back to get good data, or how much data will you lose. You can get a more detailed explanation here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_point_objective. For an example, if you backup successfully every night, you should be able to recover your data up to a point no more than 24 hours old (less when you have to recover earlier in the day). If your RPO is 24 hours, then a nightly or daily backup may be ideal. This is the type of recovery that most businesses plan for. A tighter RPO typically means a higher investment to backup. Yet, many business backup plans stop here, when there is another important objective that needs to be covered.


This other objective is RTO. This is less about the data itself, and more about how long you will be unable to work. Again, if you want to get into the details, here’s a link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_time_objective. Sometimes there are two RTOs, one for functionality and one for complete recovery of data. There can be huge benefits to some businesses in getting up and running, even without data, sooner. Some can’t function until all data is restored. Through clever system and recovery planning, there can be very cost-effective solutions for getting your team back up and running, even if access the full set of data is a few hours behind. Just like with RPO, think carefully about your needs, as tighter RPO requirements also drive up needed investment.


RTO and RPO can be detailed discussions needed around how your business operates. There are lots of decisions to be made between your backup technology, investment needed, and business needs. Working with an experienced solution provider, such as a managed service provider, can have huge benefits over dealing directly with a technology vendor. Look for someone who speaks to business needs and has seen and implemented several strategies for RTO and RPO.


If you have concerns about the current state of your backup, please call us at (718) 650-6100 for a free analysis and consultation.

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