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

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

RTO and RPO determine time and data constraints of a disaster recovery.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are two important parameters around disaster recovery and data protection planning. These are objectives which can guide businesses of all sizes to choose an optimal data backup plan.

RPO and RTO are two factors (along with a business impact analysis) which indicates the success of a potential strategy. Outlining this within the business continuity plan (BCP) and indicate if it’s a viable strategy or not. The aim is to resume business after an IT incident as close as possible to these figures.

More information about business continuity planning and what’s required to implement one is available from here.

What’s the difference between RPO and RTO?

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) indicates the amount of time which may pass during an IT incident before the amount of lost data exceeds the threshold outlined within the BCP.

The Recovery Time Objective (RPO) is the amount of time and service level agreement (SLA) which a business process must be fully functional again after an IT incident. The RTO is basically the answer to ‘how long did it take to recover once the notification of the IT incident occurred?’

Examples of where RPO and RTO differences would impact the overall BCP strategy

Highly critical system

If a system is highly critical for business function, then the RPO and RTO will both be small values. This is because the amount of lost data and downtime will impact business immediately. The best method of implementation for a strategy around this would be to perform constant replication of the data to a standby system. A real life example would be running a Hyper-V Replica environment.

Data Dumping Area becomes unavailable

Many businesses have some sort of network storage where staff can place random data. Losing such data will cause minimal impact on business continuity. A traditional backup of the data would then be sufficient to meet RPO and RTO as they’re higher thresholds in which data recovery from a backup can meet the requirements.


Recovery Point Objective (RPO) deals with lost or recovered offline data levels. Consequently; Recovery Time Objective (RPO) outlines the amount of time that can pass until IT incident seriously hinders business operation.

Test My Backups can help

Wanting help to determine the best RTO and RPO and business continuity strategy?  Feel free to contact us with an obligation free enquiry. Consequently, if you want to run a test recovery scenario to see if your RTO and RPO can be met? You can place an order and we will get started right away.

Also, you can find more information about what TestMyBackups can provide around the BCP space including RTO and RPO.

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