What Is RTO & RPO? All You Need to Know!

What Is RTO & RPO? All You Need to Know!

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Your disaster recovery strategy remains incomplete without implementing the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO), two of the most vital data recovery protocols. In the event of a disaster, natural or otherwise, especially a cyberattack, your business is bound to experience a specific downtime, leading to significant operational and financial losses.

A robust business continuity plan (BCP) is the key to recover from a disaster event with minimum damage while picking up the pieces from where you left off.

Any successful BCP comprises RTO and RPO protocols, which might seem to be the same side of the coin but are, in fact, uniquely different in their approaches and impacts. This article will take you through the difference between RTO and RPO while deep-diving into their respective importance.

What Is Recovery Time Objective (RTO)?

Post-disaster, time is of the utmost essence to get your business back on its feet, and this is where Recovery Time Objective (RTO) comes into play. Essentially, RTO is the process that determines the extent of the downtime that a business can bear and how quickly it can be brought back online to ensure business continuity with the least losses. In simpler terms, RTO provides you with a target timeframe to restore services.

RTO example

A pertinent example of RTO application is the granular item recovery. One of the mainstays of disaster recovery strategies, granular item recovery ensures quick data recovery, mostly when employed with Exchange email applications. Say you’ve mistakenly deleted an important email permanently from your Microsoft Exchange email inbox. A backup system featuring granular backup & recovery enables your IT department to recover the deleted email in minutes, without having to construct an entire virtual machine for the recovery process.

What Is Recovery Point Objective (RPO)?

An RPO or Recovery Point Objective is used to assess the acceptable duration of loss of business during a disaster event, especially a cyberattack. Determining this timeframe is essential for any successful business continuity plan, as the lack of it can easily lead to unacceptable or even catastrophic losses. A company’s loss tolerance is calculated by considering the intervals between data backups and the data loss that could occur between backups due to an unforeseen disaster.

Data backups are an essential element of any successful RPO strategy, thus ensuring a timely transition from a disaster to operational status. However, any business, large or small, must ascertain and then set a certain limit on acceptable data loss in the event of a disaster.

Difference Between RTO & RPO

While both RTO and RPO are essential elements of a sound business continuity plan, their requirements and applications are uniquely different from each other. The purpose of RTO and RPO is the defining factor that differentiates between the two. While RTO focuses on the overall aspect of a business, RPO focuses only on the data aspect and a business’ data loss tolerance levels in the event of a disaster.

How to Achieve Zero RTPO (Recovery Time & Point Objectives)

Synchronous mirroring is one of the most effective means of achieving a Zero RTPO Recovery Time & Point Objectives), wherein your data loss during a disaster or a cyberattack is zero. Synchronous mirroring entails simultaneous I/O writing to a mirrored system, wherein the backup is kept in a constant state of readiness for immediate recovery.

EC-Council’s business continuity and disaster recovery training program is designed to give you the edge in a competitive domain by teaching you how to strategize and implement a disaster recovery plan. From business impact analysis to risk assessment, this program covers it all.

So, what are you waiting for? Become a Certified Disaster Recovery Professional today!

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