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RTO and RPO in DR planning for Oracle SE

Learn more about RTO and RPO in Disaster Recovery planning and what they mean in a technical as well as a business sense.

Technical pieces
By Tim Marshall |
October 16, 2020 |
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Blog updated: May 22, 2024 

The terms RTO and RPO are often thrown about in the tech world. But, like many acronyms, they are often misunderstood. RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) are key factors in determining database backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) scenarios. People think of them as technical terms, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, it is important to think of them in a business sense as well.

I will cover each of these terms and discuss what they mean in a technical as well as a business sense. Next, I will suggest different technologies you should investigate to meet your higher RPO/RTO requirements on Oracle, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL databases.

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RTO and RPO in Disaster Recovery Planning

A standard RTO definition is the duration of time in which a business process must be restored after a disaster to avoid irreversible data loss. RTO is more than just a technical benchmark. Picture this: your website goes down. How long can your business afford to stay offline before it starts bleeding money? That's your RTO ticking away.

Let’s break that down a bit further. Let’s say that your business states that the website (or various other processes) can be down for 30 minutes before you start to lose serious money as well as damage the brand. What this means is that your RTO is 30 minutes. If a disaster strikes, you want to ensure you are up and running 30 minutes later. 

It’s important to think of these times from a business point of view first. The business unit must take into consideration the actual costs (loss of business), brand damage (will an outage make the news?), operational costs (what is going to be required to get up and running?), and compliance requirements for data availability. 

Next, translate the business requirements into technical requirements. Once a true cost is determined the business can take this information and discuss it with the technical team. The business will often request 0 recovery time or a few seconds. The technical team will need to evaluate these requirements and the cost of a few different alternatives and work together with the business team to agree on a pragmatic RTO requirement and solution. 

Be sure to measure each system separately. Every business system will have its tolerance level. For some, downtime measured in seconds is a deal-breaker, while others can weather hours of disruption. A careful study of each system and its unique needs is required. Getting a system up and running after it is down is a challenge, which is why care and planning are needed to ensure that it can be restored quickly and effectively; which leads us to the next point – your RPO. 

RPO: saving your data, every minute counts

Recovery Point Objective, or RPO, refers to the maximum amount of data loss your business can tolerate in the event of a disaster or disruption (e.g. system failure). To put it short, it’s your data loss tolerance. How much data can you afford to lose in a disaster? 

For many, the answer is simple: none. Every bit of data and every transaction, are essential for operational continuity. From customer transactions to financial records, the loss of even a minute’s worth of data is enough to disrupt a business. However, as the fault tolerance shrinks, the cost rises dramatically. IT departments must plan proper backups, DR plans, standby IT systems, extra staff for 24/7 availability, and a myriad of other factors. It's a balancing act between preserving data integrity and managing costs. So, how can you ensure you meet your RPO/RTO without breaking the bank? 

Striking the Balance: Meeting your RTO/RPO needs while reducing costs through right-sized database licensing.

Finding the sweet spot between RPO and RTO is the holy grail of DR. To minimize data loss, you need a solid backup plan, fail-proof measures, and a secure place to store your data offsite. It's about knowing what data is most important and making sure you can recover it quickly if something goes wrong while factoring in costs. 

One way to achieve a more cost-effective solution is to confirm your database licenses are right-sized. You can achieve a highly available and cost-effective environment by utilizing Standard Edition licenses or Opensource licenses together with high-performance third-party software. 

For example, by utilizing Oracle SE together with a standby database created and managed by Dbvisit Standby MultiPlatform (StandbyMP), you can create a highly resilient, high RPO/RTO environment at an affordable price. Such software should offer:  

  • Automatic replication of your database in near real-time.

  • Automated failover of your primary database to your standby.

  • Zero-data-loss switchovers for easier patching and maintenance.

  • Fast recovery from network issues with one-click resynchronization.

  • Real-time monitoring for fast reaction to issues.

Disaster Recovery options: 

If you’re after a strict RPO/RTO and want to create a high RPO/RTO solution for your Oracle SE, SQL Server or PostgreSQL environments, then we recommend you look into: 


Disaster Recovery doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how Dbvisit StandbyMP could fit within your organizational needs, contact us, and one of our technical specialists will reach out to you. Otherwise, you can try it out for yourself! 

Tim Marshall
Tim Marshall

Email Tim Marshall

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