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What Is RTO & RPO in Disaster Recovery?

How to Build a SaaS Disaster Recovery Plan


Daniel Naftchi

Co-founder & CTO

How RTO & RPO Can Help You Manage Downtime After Data Loss

Downtime is bad for business.

It halts productivity, creates immense financial losses, disrupts the ability to provide the customary level of service, if any service at all, to customers, and so much more…

And while that much might be obvious, to many, what is far less obvious is what to do when faced with data loss due to system operator error or a disaster. The goal of any good disaster recovery plan or business continuity plan should be to enable recovery and restore business as usual as quickly as possible. 

RTO and RPO are two key metrics, or KPIs, that you can use to gain an in-depth understanding of  your organization’s data limits and time frame for implementing your business continuity plan..

Why is this important?

According to ITIC’s 2021 Hourly Cost of Downtime report

  • …the Hourly Cost of Downtime now exceeds $300,000 for 91% of SME and large enterprises.
  • 44% of mid-sized and large enterprise survey respondents reported that a single hour of downtime can potentially cost their businesses over one million ($1 million).

Let’s dive a little deeper…


What is RTO in Disaster Recovery?

As Michael Wilson explains in his AWS blog “Establishing RPO and RTO Targets for Cloud Applications”, though figuring out how to protect and recover an application often seems easier than establishing recovery objective targets, doing the latter is extremely important in establishing business continuity.

RTO, which, as you may already be aware, stands for “recovery time objective”, is essentially a measure of the threshold of time your business should take to fully restore business continuity. RTO, like RPO, isn’t an objective value that’s pre-defined. Instead, it’s a KPI that you’ll have to work hard to determine organizationally. Furthermore, you’ll likely have different RTO values for each of the various applications your business uses to create data.

This is important to note because your business may be able to tolerate waiting longer to restore certain business functions, but others could be almost immediately devastating.

What is RPO in Disaster Recovery?

RPO refers to “recovery point objective”, or the amount of data your business can realistically afford to lose, measured in time (usually in hours). So while RTO measures time directly, RPO uses time as a frame of reference for data loss. 

RPO is especially important because not only can it be used as a KPI post-recovery, but it can also be used preventatively in determining how often you need to back up your data.


Which is More Important: RTO or RPO?

In disaster recovery, RTO and RPO are both vital parameters of a disaster recovery plan.

Like other KPIs, they can be used separately but used together, they help paint a more meaningful picture of your organization’s capacities and targets during the data recovery process. Therefore you should carefully calculate targets for both in order to be best prepared when disaster or data loss strikes.

The Significance of RTO & RPO in Business Continuity

As we’ve already touched on, while knowing how to fix disaster or outage-related issues is certainly important, developing a full understanding of how long your business can tolerate downtime and how much data loss you can feasibly incur allows you to then develop a targeted timeline for restoration. 

Developing RTO and RPO targets, respectively, along with conducting a business impact analysis, can help your organization gain a better understanding of these two concepts.

Acsense Helps Businesses Recover Their IAM Systems Faster and Meet RTO & RPO Targets

Because of the often complex and nuanced nature of calculating RTO and RPO, many organizations are best served by hiring experts or consultants to help develop realistic and actionable RTO and RPO targets.

While Acsense does not currently provide disaster recovery or business continuity consulting, our unique backup and disaster recovery  solution offers an easy solution to proactively protect and backup your OKTA tenant, which naturally results in lower RTO and RPO, and therefore, less downtime. In other words, it’s important for you to calculate RTO & RPO as part of your due diligence when creating a business continuity plan.


But agnostic of what your ideal RTO & RPO may be, acsense is here with a seamless solution that will get you closer to zero downtime.


With Acsense’s IAM Resilience Platform, You Will Achieve:

  1. Low RTO: Reduce recovery time and avoid Okta API rate limits with our 1-click recovery and automated failover.
  2. Low RPO: Limit data loss down to 10 mins old in the event of a disaster with continuous data integrity checks.
  3. Data Integrity: We ensure that your data and configurations can be trusted and used to restore to normal operations with consistent data integrity and validation checks.
  4. IAM Resilience: acsense automates and measures the time it takes to recover, incorporates disaster recovery drills, and provides a seamless path so you’re ready when disaster occurs.

Interested in learning more about Acsense’s unique IAM business and access continuity solution? 
Schedule a demo now.




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