RTO versus RPO

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) are two aspects that must be considered when planning for disaster.  RTO is the amount of time a business process can be unavailable while RPO is the amount of data that could be lost as a result of a disaster.  While RTO is a fairly simple concept to grasp, RPO can be a little more involved to consider because of varying factors and costs that may be associated.  In some cases, data must be simultaneously written to multiple systems located in different geographic territories to avoid any loss of data from an outage or disaster.  In other cases where standard daily tape backups are used on a nightly basis, up to 24 hours of data may be lost. RTO is  dependent on RPO to a degree because of RPO’s relation to data restoration.  Other factors, however, could affect RTO than just data restoration.  For example, availability of hardware or other components.  RTO and RPO will vary for every business’ process based on their importance to the organization.

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