Disaster Recovery – Key Concept

In today’s session, we will delve into the critical concepts of disaster recovery planning, focusing on how businesses can safeguard their operations from unexpected disruptions. With a practical analogy involving a coffee shop scenario, we will explore the essential components of Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Understanding these elements is vital for any organization aiming to minimize downtime and data loss during a disaster. Let’s begin by breaking down these key concepts and examining how they apply in real-world settings.

Last time, we talked a little bit about high availability. Today, we are going to look at disaster recovery and key concepts. There are two things we’re going to examine: RTO and RPO. RTO is your Recovery Time Objective, and RPO is your Recovery Point Objective. Each of your systems will have one of these specified, and it will depend on business value. We’re going to illustrate this with a coffee shop scenario. Imagine you have a coffee shop similar to Starbucks, where you come in, someone at the counter takes your order, writes it on a cup, and places it on the counter. A barista at the other end processes these cups in order. Once they’ve filled your cup, you collect it from the counter and enjoy your coffee. The bit in the middle represents a queue, and this queue holds state, because it represents the state of the orders. Now, let’s say the coffee shop burns down. Everyone evacuates safely, but the coffee cups are left behind and they get burned to a crisp.

Your Recovery Time Objective is how long it takes you to get your business back on its feet. So, imagine your coffee shop has all the tables, someone at the counter taking orders, and a barista ready with the coffee machine to make coffee. At that point, you’re ready to serve your first customer. How long that takes is your Recovery Time Objective. Now, your Recovery Point Objective is, well, imagine these cups have burned to a crisp. That means three people had their orders taken, but they haven’t received their coffee. So, if that bit of data is lost, how much you can afford to lose depends on the value of it. If that data is really valuable, you’ll want to ensure that there’s another location where someone is continuously writing these orders on cups, just in case. So if the original location burns down, you can say it’s okay because all the orders are saved here. No one will go without their coffee. Your Recovery Point Objective is how much data you can afford to lose, and your Recovery Time Objective is how long it takes to get back on your feet.

These objectives can differ because each has its own value. The longer it takes to get back on your feet, the more you potentially lose in one way. The amount of in-flight data you lose has a different value, which you need to determine for yourself. So, that’s a quick introduction to RTO and RPO, and we’ll discuss this more next time.

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