Backup & Storage

Using RPOs and RTOs to Drive Your Disaster Recovery Strategy

When you’re creating a disaster recovery (DR) strategy for your business, there are two main criteria that you need to consider: your Restore Point Objectives (RPOs) and your Restore Time Objectives (RTOs). Although these acronyms sound complex, the idea behind them is fairly straightforward. Let’s have a closer look at how your RPOs and RTOs affect your DR strategies.



Sponsored Content

What is “Inside Microsoft Teams”?

“Inside Microsoft Teams” is a webcast series, now in Season 4 for IT pros hosted by Microsoft Product Manager, Stephen Rose. Stephen & his guests comprised of customers, partners, and real-world experts share best practices of planning, deploying, adopting, managing, and securing Teams. You can watch any episode at your convenience, find resources, blogs, reviews of accessories certified for Teams, bonus clips, and information regarding upcoming live broadcasts. Our next episode, “Polaris Inc., and Microsoft Teams- Reinventing how we work and play” will be airing on Oct. 28th from 10-11am PST.

Determining Your RPOs

To better understand what your RPO is you should ask yourself “How much data can I afford to lose if a disaster occurs?” Your RPO represents the amount of data loss that your organization is able to sustain in the event of a disaster. As you might expect, this varies greatly between different organizations as well as different applications within an organization. Some businesses, such as banking and financial organizations, have zero tolerance for data loss. Others, such as many small manufacturers, can tolerate a couple days’ worth of data loss and can therefore afford to have a much higher RPO.

Determining Your RTOs

Similarly, to understand what your RTO is you should ask yourself “How long can I can afford to be without service if a disaster occurs?” For online retailers, such as Amazon, every minute of downtime costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and they can’t afford any downtime at all if possible. For these types of businesses it’s worth the extra costs to ensure maximum ability even in the event of a disaster. Conversely, a small or medium-sized office firm might have very different requirements. They might be able to work manually for days by temporarily substituting manual paper-based actions for their normal computerized operations.

Building Your DR Strategy

To effectively address the needs of the business, the DR strategy you build needs to consider both your organization’s and applications’ RPOs and RTOs. The right answer for RPOs and RTOs depends on the nature of the business, the workload, and its value to the business. As you might expect, solutions that provide the lowest RPOs and RTOs are also typically much more costly than solutions with that allow for higher RPOs and RTOS.

To keep data loss at a minimum, businesses that have very low RPOs and RTOs should consider DR solutions that utilize WAN replication technology such as Hyper-V Replica, VMware vSphere Replication, and third-party replication products that have even more advanced data protection capabilities. At the other end of the spectrum, businesses that can sustain more data loss might be fine with just the ability to restore the last night’s backup to a warm site and then they can later absorb or redo a day’s worth of activity.

It’s important to realize that these axioms don’t just apply to large businesses and enterprises. They also apply to small and medium-sized businesses, even though the parameters and requirement can be quite different. In some ways, your DR strategy for a smaller business is even more important than for an enterprise. While a larger organization might be able to sustain a significant outage and pick back up again, a lengthy outage for a smaller organization might put it out of business permanently. Basing your DR strategy on your businesses RPOs and RTOs ensures that you can be up and running after a disaster with a minimum of cost.

Related Topics:


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,
External Sharing and Guest User Access in Microsoft 365 and Teams

This eBook will dive into policy considerations you need to make when creating and managing guest user access to your Teams network, as well as the different layers of guest access and the common challenges that accompany a more complicated Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

You will learn:

  • Who should be allowed to be invited as a guest?
  • What type of guests should be able to access files in SharePoint and OneDrive?
  • How should guests be offboarded?
  • How should you determine who has access to sensitive information in your environment?

Sponsored by: