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What means RPO?

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Gilles Vanhal
Sales Engineer, EASI

Today, I would like to take the time to explain a basic concept of Business Continuity : the Recovery Point Objective (or in short, RPO).

Everybody who's been in touch with Business Continuity will have heard of this term. Together with RTO (Recovery Time Objective), they’re the basis of every disaster recovery plan. But what exactly means 'RPO'?

Recovery Point Objective

As stated here-above, RPO stands for Recovery Point Objective. It is defined as being the maximum tolerable period in which data might be lost.

Let me put it in an example: If, for your company, you have defined an RPO of 20 hours, it means that you 'agree' with a possible loss of data that was entered into your systems up to 20 hours ago. If you have a backup-regime of for example 48 hours, meaning you take a backup every 2 days, you are not able to reach an RPO of 20 hours. In this scenario, your maximum RPO is 48 hours.

To make it even more concrete, let's take a few examples:

  • Imagine you are the owner of a webshop. All incoming orders are received through your e-shop. In case of a disaster, how many hours (or minutes) in which you received orders before the downtime are you willing to lose? Or in other words: how many orders are you willing to lose due to a downtime on your webshop?


  • Imagine you are the owner of a traditional shop. If your computer system goes down, you are still able to sell your stock items, but you are not able to encode it in your system. As a result, you loose the overview of your stock and accumulate arrearage in your administrative follow-up. But, your business is still able to run for a little while. How long are you accepting to absorb this kind of situation? Once your system will be back, you will need to encode all activity that happened from the moment you took your last backup, which can be a longer period than the time since your system went down!

Depending on your RPO, EASI can offer different solutions to guarantee you’ll meet your business requirements.