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Developing and Calculating Your Backup Strategy

Did you know that 140,000 disk drives crash per week in the U.S.?  That’s a lot of lost data! Are you prepared for a data loss incident? Are malware and ransomware a concern to you? Do you have a backup strategy in place? Is your backup strategy reliable enough to get you back up and running in a critical situation?

These are all questions to ask yourself as you consider the reliability and efficiency of your backup strategy.

The starting place for any effective backup solution is to understand your RTO, RPO, and MTPoD.  While this sounds confusing, in reality these are just acronyms for a simple calculation.


* RTO - Recovery Point Objective
* RPO - Recovery Time Objective
* MTPoD - Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption


  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) describes the interval of time that might pass during a disruption before the quantity of data lost during that period exceeds the Business Continuity Plan’s maximum allowable threshold or “tolerance.”
  • The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disaster in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in continuity.
  • Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption (MTPoD) is the maximum amount of time that an enterprise’s key products or services can be unavailable or undeliverable after an event that causes a disruption.

STEP 1: Set Your MTPoD

What is the maximum amount of time your company can tolerate before business interruption causes irreparable damage?

STEP 2: Finding Your RPO

Setting a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) means determining the length of time your business can afford to operate without a select amount of data before operations suffer.

This amount of data is determined by two factors:

  • The length of time between data backups
  • The amount of data that could potentially be lost within that time.

STEP 3: Finding Your RTO

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is focused less upon data restoration than upon recovery of the whole of your I.T. and business activities following a data disaster.

RTO, therefore, reflects the amount time that your business can function without access to its vital systems.

Determining this amount of time, whether it’s four hours, eight hours, or a full business day, depends on several factors, including server provisioning, storage, networking resources, and virtual machine configuration.

Learning the difference between RPO and RTO, and setting realistic tolerances for each, is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure business continuity in the event of a data disaster.

For assistance in developing your company’s customized backup strategy, please contact us at



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