With your mind set to how your business can succeed in 2020, we want to make sure your IT systems are secure and protected against potential vulnerabilities. For this article we interviewed Scott Johnson, COO of KLH, to help you understand the importance of backing up your data. Here’s what you need to know to get your year off to a great start.
What are RPO and RTO?
RTO, your Recovery Time Objective, is the amount of time you need to recover your IT and business activities after a disaster like a data breach or hack. By identifying how long you need to recover after a disaster, you can build a strategy to prepare for potential downtime. That, in turn, can help you set a budget for it.
Another important IT goal involves setting a Recovery Point Objective (RPO). This deals with your loss tolerance with regard to your data. You determine RPO by looking at the time between backups and the potential amount of data that could be lost during that period.
Why Do They Matter?
Let’s use an illustration to understand why RPO and RTO matter. Think back to the days when you would write a term paper in college on a computer that didn’t automatically save your progress. Your computer crashes after you put in three hours of solid work. All of it is lost and you now have to spend time rewriting it.
Now imagine that, on a much larger scale, with your customer data. It would cost you much more than just a few hours of sleep at this level!
Your system going down for an hour likely wouldn’t destroy your business, but what would happen if it were down for two days? That would definitely have a negative impact on your company. Downtime costs you in lost revenue and reduced productivity and can potentially wreck your brand’s reputation.
Understanding both RTO and RPO helps you build tech best practices that ensure you are prepared for any downtime.
How Do I Calculate RPO and RTO for Disaster Recovery?
Start by identifying what you need to protect against:
- Human error
- Malware or ransomware
- Natural disasters
- Equipment failure
- Loss of reputation
Next, calculate RPO by looking at how frequently you back up data in your IT systems. Maybe you back up every 12 hours. Now, consider how current your data needs to be if you have a data outage and then have to restore it. Does it need to be up-to-the-minute in order to not jeopardize your business, or is data that was lost right after the backup 10 hours ago still relevant enough to maintain business as usual? Essentially, how long can you afford to have lost data?
For RTO, the amount of data you have will come into play. The more data you have, the longer it will take to recover it and get back up to speed. How long can you go without your data?
What Can I Do Now to Protect My Business?
The cloud may be a key component in protecting yourself and keeping your data backed up. If you don’t already have one, build a cloud migration strategy for 2020 to move everything off of whatever tool you’re using now onto the cloud.
What Are Some Best Practices in the Event of a Downtime Incident?
Planning ahead is your best defense against downtime.
Create a communication plan for employees and vendors who access your systems, as well as customers, so they know what to expect. Transparency will be key.
Have a process in place.
What team members need to be involved with recovering the data? Who is your point of contact at your IT managed services provider? How will you deal with a loss of data?
After the downtime incident, meet with your team to discuss wins and failures. What could you have done better? Take notes and modify the plan accordingly.
How Can KLH Help Get Business Applications Up and Running as Quickly as Possible?
We work with our clients to really help them understand and determine tolerance for downtime. We review their disaster recovery plans at least once a year, or more if a company is experiencing rapid growth (additional services, employees, locations). It is very important to rightsize a backup plan that fits their needs.
KLH will help your business answer:
- What data do we need to back up?
- How often do we need to back it up?
- How much data loss can we endure without significant customer issues?
- How quickly do we need to guarantee our service comes back up?
- Do we need an active DR strategy?
No one wants to plan for a downtime incident because no one wants it to happen. Yet, planning is the very thing that can keep downtime from hurting your business.