IT Support Tips: How to Calculate RPO and RTO in Disaster Recovery Planning

IT Support Tips: How to Calculate RPO and RTO in Disaster Recovery Planning

Various incidences can impact a business’s revenue and existence, especially if the company doesn’t have enough IT support or a plan to stabilize the situation promptly. This is why disaster recovery is an increasingly essential aspect every modern business should have.

A disaster recovery plan highlights the steps a company should take in the event of a disaster that disrupts its operations, causing downtime. Let’s enlighten you about (Recovery Point Objective) RPO and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) as part of key disaster recovery metrics.

What Are Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective?

RPO and RTO are essential techniques used to measure and assess the criticality of a company’s IT networks. RTO measures the time a system or application can be down without damaging the firm substantially. It examines how quickly a business can restore its IT support systems after an event like a power outage, ransomware attack, or a human mistake without disrupting normal operations.

RPO, on the other hand, measures an organization’s data loss tolerance. It refers to the amount of data a firm can lose before feeling the impact of an unpredictable event.

These two metrics help organizations resume normal operations as quickly as possible without losing revenue and any important data.

Calculating RPO and RTO

Since these two components are critical, it’s essential to be as accurate as possible with your calculations. Some organizations require zero downtime due to the vital services they provide, while others can afford to lose a few hours without getting impacted by an event.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine these timeframes.

List All the Applications Your Business Uses Daily

Every organization is different. Some use many applications and systems to run their operations, while others do things manually. To calculate RPO and RTO, one needs to determine all the essential applications and systems critical to the company.

Then, define the roles played by each system. Don’t forget to include the teams and end-users that will be affected if a particular application fails or goes offline and for how long. Also, determine the dependencies between networks. For instance, if one system goes offline, will the other applications continue functioning normally?

Count Your Losses

When an incident occurs, a business is likely to lose revenue and expenses, no matter how small they are.

When calculating RTO and RPO, you need to know how much your business will lose in a given period. Consider the service level agreements you have with customers.

Decide on a Suitable RTO and RPO

A business can have a single RTO or RPO for all its applications or systems or different RTOs and RPO’s for each application. When determining the RTO, use the application that will cause the most losses as your baseline. For equally essential applications, average their times and use it as the RTO.


Unexpected events such as ransomware attacks can bring a business to a standstill if it doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan or a good IT support team. If your business struggles to manage your network, reach out to us at Vitalpoints to have all your problems sorted.