Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

A Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the time duration in which you want to be able to recover your data. Your backup and recovery plan should be designed to meet RTOs your company chooses for its data warehouse. For example, you may determine that 5% of the data must be available within 12 hours, 50% of the data must be available after a complete loss of the database within 2 days, and the remainder of the data be available within 5 days. In this case you have two RTOs. Your total RTO is 7.5 days.

To determine what your RTO should be, you must first identify the impact of the data not being available. To establish an RTO, follow these four steps:

  1. Analyze and identify: Understand your recovery readiness, risk areas, and the business costs of unavailable data. In a data warehouse, you should identify critical data that must be recovered in the n days after an outage.

  2. Design: Transform the recovery requirements into backup and recovery strategies. This can be accomplished by organizing the data into logical relationships and criticality.

  3. Build and integrate: Deploy and integrate the solution into your environment to back up and recover your data. Document the backup and recovery plan.

  4. Manage and evolve: Test your recovery plans at regular intervals. Implement change management processes to refine and update the solution as your data, IT infrastructure, and business processes change.