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Recovery Time Objective

1 min read
Nov 12, 2018

When you run a business, you know that there are several risks that can occur. In this age of technology, many of them are related to and can be the result of computer systems crashing and data loss. The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the maximum, tolerable length of time a computer, system, network or application can be down after a failure or disaster occurs.

An RTO is measured in minutes, hours or days and can play an important role in Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP). It measures the extent to which the interruption disrupts normal operations as well as the amount of revenue lost per unit of time as a result of the disaster. These also depend on the affected equipment and application.

Many studies have been conducted to determine the cost of downtime for various applications in enterprise operations. The research has shown that the cost depends on long-term and intangible effects as well as immediate, short-term and tangible factors. Once the RTO is defined, administrators can decide which recovery technologies are best suited for the situation.

If RTO for a given application is on the shorter side, say about one hour, redundant data backup on external hard drives may be the best option. If the RTO is longer, say around five days, a tape, recordable compact disk (CD-R) or offsite storage on a remote web server may be a better solution.

Determining Recovery Time Objective can be valuable for effectively restoring function in your business after a failure in technology. Be sure to keep evaluating possible risks to make sure your organization can handle it with the proper techniques, employees and testing. Hopefully, this will lead to a decrease in RTO overall and a safer technological environment for your business.

Learn about business continuity.


Related: What is Business Continuity Management?

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