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(also recovery point objective)

RPO definition

Recovery point objective, known as RPO, refers to the maximum age of files that an organization must recover from backup storage for normal operations to resume after a data loss event. RPO is a measure of the amount of data that could be lost in the event of a system failure measured in time. It is an integral part of disaster recovery and business continuity planning.

See also: network security protocols, end-to-end encryption, data backup, secure connection

RPO examples

  • Business data backups: If a business sets an RPO of 24 hours, it means it must back up its data every 24 hours. This ensures that in the event of data loss, the most recent backup is never more than 24 hours old.
  • Website data recovery: For a high-traffic website, an RPO of an hour or less might be required. This implies that backups must occur at least hourly to protect recent data.

Advantages and disadvantages of RPO


  • Data protection: A well-defined RPO can prevent significant data loss.
  • Planning: It helps companies plan their backup frequency.


  • Cost: The shorter the RPO, the more expensive it is because more frequent backups require more storage.
  • Resource utilization: Shorter RPOs also demand higher computational resources.

Using RPO

  • Identify critical systems and data: RPO should be set according to the importance of the data.
  • Balance between RPO and cost: A shorter RPO means less potential data loss, but it comes at a higher cost. Choose an RPO that strikes the right balance for your business needs.