Business Continuity in AWS – What is RTO and RPO?


Thanks to cloud-based platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), backing up your company’s critical data has never been easier. But as we’ve stated in previous blogs, during an actual crisis, backups may prove useless in the absence of a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plan. And while there are many factors that must go into crafting the right DR plan to meet your company’s specific needs, the two most important are the recovery time objective (RTO) and the recovery point objective (RPO). In the following article, we’ll break down what these terms mean and how they differ. We’ll also explain why determining the RTO and RPO is so important, and how CloudRanger can help enact an AWS DR plan once it’s been crafted.

What is RTO and RPO?

Although the two terms might sound similar at first glance, the RTO and the RPO are two very different metrics. The RTO, or recovery time objective, is the maximum length of time after an outage that your company is willing to wait for the recovery process to finish. On the other hand, the RPO, or recovery point objective, is the maximum amount of data loss your company is willing to accept as measured in time.

Another way to describe the RTO and the RPO is the difference between how long you are willing to be offline after disaster strikes, and how many hours (or minutes) of data you are willing to lose.

How To Determine The RTO And RPO?

Determining your company’s RTO and RPO is probably a bit more complicated than it seems at first glance. After all, when asking someone about the amount of downtime and data loss they’re willing to absorb, “as little as possible” is the natural response. But as with most things in life, there is a trade-off. And in this case, that trade-off is between data/time and money.

When it comes to saving time, or determining your RTO, it is technically possible to implement a recovery method such as a “warm standby” or “multi-site solution” that greatly reduces or nearly eliminates the amount of downtime a company experiences in the event of a disaster. For example, if your company’s website is knocked offline by a hurricane in Texas, but traffic can be immediately syphoned to an exact replica being hosted in Maine, why wouldn’t you choose to have an RTO of virtually zero minutes? The answer is money.

Constantly running two identical sites simultaneously is going to cost you a lot more than simply backing up your data and restoring it as needed. In general, the faster you want to be back online after a disaster, the more you are going to have to pay to make it happen. For some companies, where even a slight outage can have a major impact on the bottom line, it makes sense to bite the bullet and set an RTO that is as short as possible. But for other companies, such a costly process makes no financial sense, and a longer RTO should be set.

The same is true when determining a company’s RPO. Technically, a company could set a backup schedule that prevents almost all its data from being lost in a disaster. But data backups and data storage aren’t free. As with RTO, the more ambitious the RPO, the more money it’s going to cost. If losing two hours worth of data would cause your company major headaches, perhaps an RPO of one hour or less is really necessary. But if losing a day’s worth of data isn’t going to break the bank, maybe an RPO of 12 or 24 hours makes more sense.

Whatever the case may be, it’s up to you to determine the right metrics to meet your company’s needs.

RTO, RPO, And CloudRanger

Once you’ve determined your company’s RTO and RPO, other aspects of your AWS DR plan should start falling into place. And thanks to CloudRanger’s easy to use dashboard, implementing these varying components is as easy as clicking a few buttons. With CloudRanger, you can quickly and easily determine what gets saved and where, and schedule regular data backups at predetermined intervals to ensure your RPO is met, whatever it may be. And in the event of a disaster, CloudRanger makes it easy to retrieve and restore your data, ensuring that your RTO also stays on schedule. And best of all, CloudRanger does all this and more without the need for scripting.

About CloudRanger

CloudRanger provides the world’s easiest to use backup and recovery solution for Amazon Web Services. We make it easy to manage your backups & servers running on AWS cloud. Using CloudRanger, you can easily manage backups and retention of your RDS, EC2 and Redshift resources with snapshots and AMIs.

With an easy to use interface, managing your routine AWS tasks is simple and effective. CloudRanger saves your team time and hassle, making the day-to-day management of your AWS resources easier and more automated. CloudRanger can also help you save on your EC2 costs by starting/stopping non-production instances automatically when you need them.

Try CloudRanger for Free

Whether you are a small business, a medium business, or an enterprise user of Amazon Web Services, CloudRanger has the backup and recovery features that will meet your specific needs. Our easy-to-use AWS cloud management system is simple to install, which means your business can be up and running with CloudRanger in no time. And best of all, you can even try CloudRanger for free for 14 days. So why not experience all the cost-saving features and time-saving benefits CloudRanger has to offer?






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