The smartest way to think about disaster is in terms of when, not if. The object of the game is to mitigate risk as much as is feasible, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.
That’s easier said than done. Enterprises are now faced with such explosive data growth that it’s not uncommon for IT to complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day to back up everything that must be replicated. This problem is compounded by business managers maintaining that there’s no such thing as noncritical data—it’s all critical and must be protected accordingly.
Obviously, having to safeguard everything magnifies the tasks of meeting RTOs (recovery time objectives) and RPOs (recovery point objectives). A company can’t promise to be recovered from an outage in one hour if it has two hours of data transfer to bring back, and with more data to store, the prospect of keeping recovery point snapshots stretching back in time becomes ever more costly.
- View RTO and RPO goals with five years’ worth of future growth in mind. Solutions should be scalable enough to meet this horizon.
- Virtualization and deduplication technologies are two key enablers for improving RTO/RPO results.
- IT and business units must communicate to better understand each other’s expectations and limitations and to arrive at feasible recovery objectives.
See Meet RTOs & RPOs: Establish Reasonable Expectations & Plan For The Future, by William Van Winkle for Processor.com.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO IT SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS: ALIGNING IT SERVICE TO BUSINESS NEEDS, by Andrew Hiles, is a valuable resource in formalizing SLAs, RTOs, and RPOs.