When discussing disaster recovery (DR) solutions, the terms recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) are often brought up as major selling points for disaster recovery.
Recovery time is an enormous part of ensuring business continuity, helping to minimize the delays caused by a disaster that causes loss of access to your primary data center.
Shorter RTOs mean less disruption and less business lost as a result.
But, why are recovery point objectives important in a DR solution?Here are a few reasons why:
Longer RPOs = More Data Lost
One of the key reasons companies need to have a recent recovery point is to avoid losing too much data when a disaster occurs.
For example, with a traditional backup solution, the RPO is often 22+ hours. In that amount of time, how many new pieces of mission-critical data, such as customer billing info, transaction data, invoices, payments, orders, and more does your business accumulate?
More Data Lost = Greater Business Disruption
Losing financial data can have an enormous negative impact, as files for accounts receivable and accounts payable are lost. This means less money coming in, and costs increasing as late penalties get added to the bills that were generated after your most recent backup was created.
Many other critical files can be lost, resulting in redundant orders of supplies from third parties, service disruptions for different departments of your business, and other negative consequences.
Keeping recovery point objectives as recent as possible helps ensure that less data is lost after a disaster, helping reduce disruption to your business’ operations and cash flow.
RPOs Directly Contribute to Seamlessness of Business Continuity
The more recent your RPOs are with a DR solution, the more seamless your business continuity plan will be. Recovery points that minimize data loss make a business more resilient, reducing the risk of a single disaster causing enough of a disruption to operations to threaten the business’ continued existence.
Some disaster recovery solutions that leverage virtualization can maintain recovery points as recent as just a few minutes before the disaster occurs. This helps to create a near-seamless continuity of business operations in a situation that would normally cause great disruption.
Maintaining Recent RPOs in Disaster Recovery
Lesser RPOs is one of the defining characteristics that separates true disaster recovery from more archaic backup solutions.
To create and maintain a recent recovery point without it becoming too large a drain on processing resources is a major challenge. Modern DR solutions make a complete copy of the data environment on the first replication, then only tracks the incremental changes made to that environment for each subsequent update of the recovery environment.
By only tracking actual changes to data rather than trying to re-copy the entire data set to the replication environment, DR can make continuous updates without creating an enormous resource drain that slows down the main production environment.
Naturally, such a process should be automated to reduce the chances of human error causing a situation where the files fail to be replicated.
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