RPO and RTO are important terms that savvy MSPs need to familiarize themselves with if they want to pitch backup, business continuity and disaster recovery services to their clients.

Let’s start by defining RPO and RTO:

  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO): The amount of work that can be lost and will need to be redone in the event of data loss.
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO): The amount of time it will take before customers can start working after a data loss event.

MSPs Need to Know RPO and RTO

As the subject matter expert, RPO and RTO empower you to convince customers that business continuity plays a vital role in reducing the financial risk to their company. Highlighting the significance of RPO and RTO pushes customers to adopt a compliance-focused approach and legitimizes your position as the subject matter expert. This builds a bridge between you, the MSP, and customers in terms of a shared understanding of the benefits of being compliant. Customers then see you as a provider of an end-to-end business continuity solution rather than a backup product they could buy from a VAR or any online retailer. This strengthens your relationship with them and reduces future risk of customer churn.

Measuring RPO And RTO

You must ensure your MSP measures RPO and RTO accurately. RPO calculation should be done against IT assets distributed across the customer’s entire organization rather than against IT assets exclusively within the customer’s IT system landscape.

On the other hand, be mindful of measuring RTO when spinning up a virtual machine. The ability to instantly failover to a virtual machine created either on-site or in the cloud is great. However, spinning up a virtual machine in the cloud or on-premise is not the same as measuring RTO. To truly measure RTO, calculate how much time it takes before all critical services, applications, files and databases load.

Here’s an example from our personal experience that will show you just how cumbersome backup processes can get if you get your RPO and RTO measurements wrong.

An MSP recently switched over to Unitrends MSP, but prior to the switch, they were using a low-cost standard backup and budget cloud storage solution for years, which they had assembled themselves. When the customer’s environment was hit by ransomware that affected all their servers, they began the process of data recovery from the cloud. However, the MSP was in for a surprise as they realized they had to download more than eight terabytes of data from the cloud before they could start the restoration process. It took over 17 days to finalize this process and cost the client and the MSP dearly in terms of revenue and reputational loss, ultimately becoming a question of survival for both.

RPO/RTO Calculations Made Easy With Unitrends MSP

Unitrends MSP’s BCDR solution provides built-in RPO/RTO reports along with recovery point verification tools. It gives your MSP the confidence to maintain true business continuity by giving you a clear insight into whether a customer’s system will boot or not and how long it will take for every restore point to get the customer’s applications, databases and system services up and running.

Unitrends MSP’s BCDR solution automates accurate RTO/RPO calculations to make your life easier and assures your customers that you, as the MSP, will protect them in case disaster strikes.

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