Defining Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective (RPO and RTO)

A pocket watch representing the time set for your RPO and RTO

January 21, 2016 Disaster Recovery Blog

Determining your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the first step towards having a secure and available business environment.


Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

While RPO and RTO seem like very similar terms, they have some critical differences.

Your RTO is the time limit you set for recovery and restoration of any part of your business after a disaster. It can include:

  • Time to discover and fix the problem
  • Time to recover data from backups
  • Time to restore your data and systems

The goal of your RTO is to calculate how quickly you need to restore critical data per application, in order to meet your business goals and needs (like staying compliant). Establishing your RTO ensures that the disaster recovery (DR) strategy you have in place will meet these needs during a disaster.


Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

In contrast, RPO is a measure of how often you need to back up your data. RPO is often a bit more confusing to understand, and is best explained through the following example.

Imagine you’re writing a lengthy essay on a computer that you know will crash, but at an unexpected point in time. How often would you feel the need to save your work? The length of time between saves determines how much work you will lose, and how much time it will take to recover (or make up for) that lost work.

The same applies for a disaster affecting your IT systems. Therefore your RPO is the shortest time you should let pass between backups. For instance, if you think your business can go 2–3 hours without backing up a certain dataset, the RPO for that data is 2 hours.


Your RPO and RTO With Protos Technologies

When a disaster impacts your company, every second is precious. That’s why we work with businesses to set unique objectives for each individual application across their entire IT infrastructure.

Say you want to have your email exchange servers backed up every two hours, and sales databases backed up every two minutes. We make that happen. When it comes to your business, you have to prioritize your critical applications first – a one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it.


For more information about determining your RPO and RTO per application and data set, contact us today at 317-707-3941.


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