Recovery point objectives as related to data backup and recovery

Backup isn’t really about backup at all. In reality, the sole purpose behind backup processes and tools is to enable recovery based on recovery time objectives that meet the needs of the organization.

For mission critical systems, it’s established fact that downtime carries with it associated costs in the form of lost revenue or wasted expenses.  A customer-facing ecommerce site, for example, generates revenue for an organization 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  For the duration that site is unavailable, that revenue stream is stalled.  That’s lost revenue.  When a back end ERP system suffers a failure, employees sit idle while IT attempts recovery.  Every employee sitting idle is a wasted expense.  Neither is tolerable in a bottom line driven organization.

That said, system failures do happen.  Data corruption does occur.  Users and IT staff do make mistakes.  All of this results in a need to perform a recovery, which means that a system or service will be unavailable for a period of time.

As you are reviewing data protection tools, ask yourself a critical question for each product: Does this product provide me with the ability to restore services within a timeframe that is acceptable to the business?  In other words, what kind of recovery time objectives can be supported with the product in question?

Today, there are superior products on the market that enable recovery with recovery time objectives measured in seconds, a feat unattainable just a few short years ago.  In fact, some solutions make it possible to access protected content directly from a backup file without waiting to extract the full backup or waiting for it to completely restore to production storage.  This capability enables very fast service restoration and minimizes the financial impact of a failure.

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