Understanding and Defining RTO and RPO objectives for SharePoint
Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are essential cornerstones of any disaster recovery (DR) or backup plan. In fact, attempts to formulate a DR/Backup plan without RPO & RTO are little more than best-guesses. So what are these concepts and why are they important?
Recovery Point Objective, or RPO, is the maximum amount of data loss that is deemed acceptable in the event of a disaster. An RPO is commonly measured in hours or minutes, but intervals can vary based on the function or aspect of the SharePoint farm being described. The more important a system or data, the shorter the RPO. Systems or data of minimal importance may have an RPO of a week, while critical systems could have an RPO of zero--that is, no acceptable data loss.
A Recovery Time Object, or RTO, target describes the maximum amount of time that recovery personnel have to return a full or partial SharePoint environment to a pre-determined state of operational readiness. RTO targets, much like RPO targets, are typically measured in hours or minutes. As with RPOs, RTO intervals can vary significantly based on criticality. Less critical SharePoint environments (basic FAQ or non-revenue-generating marketing sites, for example) may have RTO targets measured in weeks, while business-critical SharePoint environments could have RTO targets in seconds or even zero--that is, zero loss of functionality in the event of a disaster.