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RTO and RPO Not Tightly Coupled

Written by  Ron LaPedis, CBCP, CISSP Wednesday, 21 November 2007 23:51

When working on the functional requirements phase of your disaster recovery or business continuity plan, there are two goals to keep in mind for each business process: the recovery time objective (RTO) and the recovery point objective (RPO). RTO defines the tolerable maximum length of time that a business process can be unavailable, while RPO defines how much work in progress can be lost. Believe it or not, these two goals are not tightly coupled, nor are they completely decoupled. The RTO and RPO should be determined independently, although it may be determined at some later point that they are interrelated due to infrastructure or technology issues. One example often used to demonstrate an application that can never be down is a system running a stock exchange. This implies an RTO of zero or very near to zero. In addition to the minimal RTO of such an example, it is an absolute