In a recent blog post we talked about BC/DR and the importance of having a BC/DR plan. One of the critical elements of BC/DR is determining a Recovery Point Objective or RPO for your systems. Basically an RPO is the maximum tolerable amount of data you can afford to lose in the case of an information technology system failure or disaster. RPO is often determined via a process of negotiation between information technology and business staff.
There is an inverse correlation between RPO and cost, in general lower intervals for the recovery point objective are more complex and expensive to implement than longer intervals. For example if an organization has an RPO of 24 hours, they will likely have the time required to use a traditional backup and recovery process since the amount of time required as a recovery point is greater than the interval for most incremental backups. However if RPO is four hours (or less) it is more likely that the organization will need to implement a more robust solution such as mirroring, clustering or replication.
Recovery Point Objective can (and should) vary based on the importance of the system to the organizations overall mission and the potential for lost revenue or productivity from lost data. It is common for organizations to stratify their RPO’s into 2 or 3 tranches based on this determination of system criticality. For help in developing and implementing your BCDR plan, please contact us.