Technology Pointe Blog

Technology Pointe has been serving the Round Rock area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Restoring from backup - recovery time and recovery point objectives

While most businesses have become good at realizing the need for not only robust backups but storing them off-site as well, many have not considered the restore process. Being able to restore files or folders immediately is a given, but what if the whole server goes down? This is where recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) come into play.

While most businesses have become good at realizing the need for not only robust backups but storing them off-site as well, many have not considered the restore process. Being able to restore files or folders immediately is a given, but what if the whole server goes down? This is where recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) come into play.

Recovery time objective (RTO) is how long it takes to restore backups. This is the part we often see people fail to consider. If you have a large amount of data, it can sometimes take 24 hours or longer to have things back up and running (obviously a lot of factors come into play here.) This is also one of the things that can rapidly increase the cost of your backups. We can meet an RTO of one hour (in other words, from the time we start the restore process, you will be back up in less than an hour), but there is going to be a significant cost involved. RTO can also be broken out into different categories - a individual file restore may have an RTO of 30 minutes but an entire server recovery has 12 hours. For disaster recovery (i.e. a full server restore), make sure you are aware of any implications from recovering to another system or service. In most cases recovering off-site will require reconfiguring many of your systems and users to access the newly located servers.

Recovery point objective (RPO) is simply how much data you are willing to lose. If you take a backup every night at midnight, then your RPO is 24 hours. That is because if the server crashes at 11:59pm, you will lose the previous 24 hours worth of data. With modern backup technology, it is relatively affordable to get RPOs of a few hours or less. One typical issue is RPO for off-site backups. While its easy to take a backup every hour and store it on-site, with the slower internet connections some companies are stuck with, it is not always possible to send multiple copies off-site during business hours. There are some technologies that can help make this work better such as compression or deduplication before transferring, both of which help reduce the amount of data that has to be transmitted.

Click here to learn about Technology Pointe's Advanced Disaster Recovery product

One popular methodology for maximizing RTO & RPO while minimizing cost is to break things down into different service tiers. For example, email can be clustered to have an RTO & RPO of one hour at a very affordable cost, but then application & file services have an RPO of 12 hours to minimize the cost. Each service and application will have different tools available to achieve a better RTO & RPO, and tiering lets you take advantage of that versus one big plan encompassing the whole business.

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

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