MTOs, RTOs, RPOs & Backlog

Mission Critical Activities (MCAs) are prioritized by TIME SENSITIVITY rather than importance. Every activity is ranked by a Maximum Tolerable Outage (MTO); this is the absolute maximum time that an MCA can be unavailable before it compromises the organization. The MTO is a time that the business activity MUST be recovered and it  generally cannot be changed and becomes the targeted goal to have the MCA operational in either Normal mode or Recovery mode prior to the MTO being realized.

How quickly an MCA can come back on line after an interruption is based upon the organization’s decision to have the business activity recovered. It must be before the MTO and is generally prioritized for the recovery of service(s).  The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the duration of time and a service level within which a Business Functional Area (BFA) must be restored to avoid a BFA failure. The RTO of an MCA identifies where resources, planning and effort must be expended to protect the service to the community’s best abilities, and when it cannot be protected, its down time needs to be safeguarded and the MCA brought back on line within the RTO time window. The RTO is the planned time for the MCA to be ‘on-line’.

The Recovery Point Objective (RPO) refers to the point in time that data is valid, acceptable and available to the individuals responsible for or are supported by the data. The RPO  isolates the time between the last valid data back up and the interruption time.  The RPO indicates the BFA’s tolerance for data loss and to determine at what time data can be re-entered into the system.

Backlog refers to the information, orders, data etc that is collected between the interruption and service restoration. This information can be handled within recovery strategies but generally not at a pace that would compare to normal activity; this creates a backlog of data that must be captured as soon as possible to achieve full restoration of service.