What is that RTPO you talk about?

Want to make a systems admin frown?
Ask him this: “If a mission critical server fails, how long may it take to restore?”
Chances are that you are the first person ever to have asked him this question and an answer often sounds something like; “As fast as we can, but I don’t think we have a policy on it”, or (and i love this one) “gesundheit!”

It’s real, not made up:

This is the perfect moment for you to pitch RTPO and it’s importance.
RTPO means Return Time and Point Objective and while it sounds like a nice collection of marketing slogans, it really isn’t.

Let’s have a look at ‘RTPO’ :

This roughly translates into:
– How much time may it take to restore something?
– How much data may you lose in case of an event?

If you then have a look at the time in between the Recovery Point and the Recovery time, that difference (measured in time) is known as the Availability Gap. According to a recent Veeam whitepaper:

  • 82% of enterprises are facing a gap between user demand and what IT can deliver, or an ‘Availability Gap’

  • This gap results in unplanned downtime costs averaging $21.8 million per year which,

  • Stifles innovation, as 66% of enterprises admit that digital transformation initiatives are being held back by unplanned downtime

These are some serious numbers and while often trivialized they indicate a risk which you and your company are not without. Data loss can and will happen at some point, it’s up to you what the outcome will be.

Back to why I’m writing this..
While most companies have an SLA which they work with, but most of the SLA’s do not have an RTPO defined.


Not every Virtual Machines needs the same RTO and RPO. Some VMs can share an RPO, but have a different RTO. Let’s say both a fileserver and SQL server are only backed up once a day (thus we have an RPO of 24 hours) it’s not unrealistic to see an RTO requirement of 60 minutes for the SQL server while the fileserver can have an RTO of 24 hours. Onsite backups often have different RTPO compared to the offsite DR backups and can grow to an RTPO of 48 hours, or 2 days. Remember that these numbers are not set in stone, just numbers I tend to hear often in the field; I do not create the requirements, I just design a solution.

“A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its internal or external customers that documents what services the provider will furnish and defines the performance standards the provider is obligated to meet.”

Having no RTPO and only Case Response Times can hurt when disaster strikes! I will cost money, but if it costs too much money, it often will costs 1 job or more at the same time.
So do yourself and your company a favour and please check your SLA if it has an RTPO…

By |2017-05-24T14:24:34+00:00May 9th, 2017|Backup / DR, Blog|0 Comments