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Understanding BCDR strategy by defining your RPO and RTO for applications and services

2021-12-24
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The most valuable business asset is data, which employees use for daily operation, and to generate more historical and transactional raw data. Owners & line might get insight from internal data, and by combining with multiple data sources. Data loss hits businesses hard, due to the cost of downtime, loss of productivity and revenue, and damage to company reputation. A good BCDR strategy is crucial for ensuring data integrity (RPO - Recovery Point Objective) and resuming business whenever there’s outage (RTO - Recovery Time Objective).


Gartner has determined that business downtime can cost companies over $5000 USD per minute!!  That means potential losses of up to $340,000 per hour (or more). Sangfor's Managed Cloud Services MCS, covers BCDR strategies. More enterprises are looking to BCDR for protection from devastating losses like this, but what is BCDR, and what metrics do you use to determine your ultimate needs?


What is BCDR and why is it important?

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, often written as BCDR, is the process an organization creates to help them recover from a disaster, be it natural or cyber-attack. According to Techopedia, BCDR has two different components: Business Continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR).


Business Continuity:

It’s important to pre-plan and create policies to keep business running efficiently without any continuity issues. Business continuity planning can mean anything from hiring new staff of retraining existing staff, to setting up policies to guide change management.


Disaster Recovery:

DR comes into play as a system in place to determine the chain of command in the event of a disaster, and what tasks need to be prioritized in the event of a disaster. This can include anything from a plan for system restoration to backups and copies of vital data and systems. Sangfor HCI Hyperconverged Infrastructure provides you robust proction for your Disaster Recovery DR needs. 


How is BCDR affected by RPO & RTO?

Before we get into how BCDR affects RPO and RTO, let’s explore what they are.


RPO - Recovery Point Objective:

RPO, or Recovery Point Objective, determines how much data your business can afford to lose due to a disaster, and how long it will take to get up and running before your business starts to seriously suffer. This is calculated from the time the incident occurs, not from when your team discovers it and starts to fix it. RPO is determined by elements like:

  • The maximum amount of data you can afford to lose
  • The cost of the data lost
  • Budget and resources available

RTO - Recovery Time Objective

RTO, or Recovery Time Objective, defines he amount of time I takes to recover your IT infrastructure after a disaster or any kind of shut down, and greatly affects continuity. Some businesses (smaller ones) can generally afford a few hours of downtime, as they will only miss out on a few orders. Larger retailers, like Amazon, will miss out on hundreds of thousands of orders in a short amount of downtime, making a BCDR plan more vital. RTO is determined by elements like.

  • Hourly cost per outage.
  • Prioritizing business critical systems
  • Disaster recovery processes and components
  • Budget and resources available

How are RTO and RPO different?

RTO affects your overall and IT business needs, while RPO focuses totally on data.  Generally, the cos for RTO is greater, as it encompasses more aspects of the business than RPO. Finally, it’s easier to predict and work with RPO, because there are fewer variables to data processes, while RTO has many moving parts that affect many areas of the business.  Why are we talking about theses concepts? Because they are the foundation of a good BCDR plan.


MSP360 gives a great example of his concept: If your RTO is 5 hours, and your IT infrastructure takes 7 hours to restore after a disaster, you will certainly have issues down the line. Onn he other side of the coin, if your restoration time is 4 hours, and you are paying for an IT infrastructure with a recovery time of 2 hours, you can scale back and potentially save some money!


Benefits of paying close attention to RTO and RPO

  1. RTO and RPO give you a beer idea of your risks, and what policies and safeguards are the most or he least effective.
  2. Properly structured RPO and RTO will prioritize your applications in case of disaster, leading to a more reliable and consistent IT infrastructure.
  3. Understanding your RPO and RTO will help you build a more robust and effective SLA (service level agreement).
  4. RTO and RPO will help you allocate he right staff o he right areas, o make business more productive. 

Tips for Upgrading RTO & RPO in 2022

  1. Backup – make sure your backup solution is fast and reliable. Many prefer o backup to 90 days, at a minimum.
  2. Optimize Processes – ensure you have the hardware, capacity and team you need to weather any storm, much less maintain daily productivity.
  3. Budget – Watch how much outdated data you are storing, as you can end up paying surprising amounts in cloud storage costs for old snapshots and the like.
  4. Disaster Recovery Plan – use your RTO and RPO to determine your disaster recovery plan parameters.
  5. Test Test Test – test you system, employees, hardware, software, and disaster recovery processes until they are perfect!
  6. Factor in Remote Work – make sure all your plans factor in the need for more remote workers, with different and sometimes more dangerous risks. 

Three-Tier BCDR Model

A common type of BCDR model includes three tiers, defined by DSM.net as:

  • Tier-1: Mission-critical applications requiring an RTPO of less than 20 minutes
  • Tier-2: Business-critical applications requiring RTO of 1 hour and RPO of 4 hours
  • Tier-3: Non-critical applications requiring RTO of 8 hours and RPO of 24 hours

BCDR FAQs

What does “BCDR” stand for?

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery


Why is a BCDR plan important?

It will protect your data, infrastructure, employees and applications in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.


What is the first step in creating a BCDR strategy?

Perform a BIA (Business Impact Analysis) using RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective)


What will a BCDR plan cover?.

Plan triggers, Leadership and team roles, WFH policies for emergency, Communication during crisis, Contingency plans


For more information on standards for continuity and disaster recovery, reach out to the experts at Sangfor Technologies, and see how we can take your network security and cloud computing capabilities to the next level in 2022.