Recovery time objectives (RTOs) are to a company’s disaster recovery strategy what horsepower is to a car – it’s a core measurement by which the effectiveness of an engine is quantified. TechTarget defined RTO as “the maximum tolerable length of time that a computer, system, network or application can be down after a failure or disaster occurs,” highlighting its importance in the areas of DR and business continuity in general.
To put it simply, a company with short, stable RTOs is better equipped to overcome network interruptions, outages and other roadblocks that hinder digital productivity.
Of course, business leaders are always looking for ways to shorten their RTOs and gain greater control over their restorative goals in a crisis scenario. Thankfully, there are a handful of technologies and methodologies that can quicken the pace of recovery and bring network assets back on line with confidence. Here are four of the best ways to ramp up RTOs and promote stronger continuity overall:
1. Consolidate recovery controls: Many IT departments find themselves spread thin when tasked with recovering digital resources during an interruption, reducing efficiency and putting unnecessary strain on technical personnel. A centralized recovery portal is a tech professional’s best friend, eliminating the frantic goose chase that often ensues following a network outage or system failure. The ability to initiate restorative processes from a single access point is great news for RTOs, and can speed up every component of the DR plan.
2. Prioritize critical applications: Even with converged backup environments, virtual machine enablement and a centralized command platform, business leaders will have to make some tough choices to boost their RTOs, and pick which systems to prioritize for recovery is one of these key decision points. Once certain applications and databases are selected over others, however, a company can enjoy a much more responsive restoration process when it comes time to take action.
3. Unclog redundant databases: Excessive duplication leads to diminished performance in all network operations and can wreak havoc on RTOs if not addressed early and often. Decision-makers should employ deduplication techniques that cut out redundant data replicas, lightening the load for recovery systems.
4. Prepare archives for recovery: While tape-based backup assets may seem archaic compared to virtual machine restoration techniques, companies still often find themselves in need of archived data when an interruption presents itself. Readying these storage appliances for faster RTOs isn’t intuitive, but can result in faster overall recovery times and save some headaches in the process.