What’s the Difference Between RPO and RTO?


The recovery point objective (RPO) measures how frequently backups are being performed – every 5 minutes? 5 hours? A whole day? It represents how up-to-date recovered data will be.

The recovery time objective (RTO) is essentially the downtime, what is the maximum amount of time your business can tolerate without suffering a significant loss.

Simply put, RPO is the frequency of backups, and RTO dictates how long you have to recover after disaster hits.

what's the difference between RPO and RTO - Statehub - Stateful Kubernetes

If ensuring data resiliency and durability across multiple regions is your job, then Zero Recovery Point Objective (Zero RPO) should be on top of your wish list. After all, Zero RPO means that data loss is a thing of the past. No matter what happens to your servers, not a single block of data a production workload was writing will be lost. Ever.

Unfortunately, for most businesses, zero RPO is the ideal that is still out of reach. Zero Recovery Point Objective targets are extremely difficult to implement in real-world environments, require complex infrastructures, astronomical budgets, and are sometimes not possible at all (especially in the public cloud.)

But what if I told you that Zero RPO doesn’t need to be difficult in a multi-region environment?

If Zero RPO between regions could be achieved, this would have huge implications on how businesses operate in the public cloud.


How can Zero RPO Benefit my Operations?


Reduce the risk of data loss

Reducing the risk of data loss is a core objective in any operation providing web services in multiple regions. Business implications of Zero RPO are huge for many businesses, as any downtime directly impacts top-line revenues, hurts brand perception, and diverts valuable resources to disaster recovery. Avoiding data loss could give the business a significant edge against the competition.


Open up the public cloud for business-critical applications

Zero RPO means faster recovery in case of disaster and better flexibility when it comes to migrating critical applications to the public cloud. Zero RPO can enable an organization to move more workloads to the public cloud, reducing strain on resources and optimize utilization while taking advantage of scalability, flexibility, and security the public cloud is known for.


“By 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers and shift to public cloud.” Eweek Cloud Prediction


The bottom line: a resiliency strategy that is based on a multi-region approach with RPO as the main KPI ensures that businesses can finally start to truly utilize the public cloud for critical applications. 


Is it Technically Possible to Get Your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) to Zero?


As businesses move away from traditional data centers and into the cloud, the need for multi-region resiliency is as strong as ever. But achieving zero RPO between clouds is difficult, as it requires that every single write you make in your primary locations needs to be made in your secondary location simultaneously.

The speed of light tends to get in the way here. The further away physically, your cloud provider locations are from each other, the more latency you introduce into your write operations. 

If you have two locations in the same city, you might be able to achieve zero RPO without the latency becoming too much of an issue if you can ensure a fiber connection between your locations. But in the public cloud, you have no control over your provider’s region locations. The farther the regions are from one another, the more severe is the impact of the latency, making data in transit susceptible to be lost in case of a disaster. So, is multi-region resiliency with Zero RPO out of the question?


You can’t change the laws of physics. With Statehub, you won’t need to.


How does Statehub Achieve Zero RPO Between Regions?


One solution to this issue is to create an infrastructure between locations. The Statehub Kubernetes Data Service operates much like a CDN, but with live data. Here is how it works.

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) provides surrogate servers to ensure higher availability with lower latency for static content and static data, making content available anywhere within the scope of the CDN.

The Statehub Kubernetes Data Service is based on the same Infrastructure as a Service concept. Statehub operates a mesh of relays that bridge the distance between regions to support higher availability with lower latency between regions, clouds, and locations.

The crucial difference is that the Statehub Kubernetes Data Service operates on live data, replication is at the I/O level. The use of a mesh network of data relays between regions ensures every I/O operation has been acknowledged and synced across any distance and public cloud infrastructure. The distance between the cloud region and the nearest Statehub relay reduces the latency, enables synchronous replication, and is transported to its desired location, without the risk of data loss.


Data Resiliency with Zero RPO Becomes a Reality with the Right Infrastructure


Data volumes stored in the cloud continue to grow at a rapid pace, and the trend is not likely to change any time soon. Industry leaders anticipate that 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers and shift to the public cloud. 


“I don’t think it’s at the height. It’s still growing fairly quickly as an overall service. So, it’s not flat; it’s still growing in double-digit figures year over year.” Eran Farajun, executive vice president, Asigra about Public cloud growth 


The cloud holds many advantages but not enough assurance when it comes to data resiliency. As a result, many businesses have been locked out of the ability to utilize the public cloud to its full potential.  

That is why business continuity solutions such as Statehub, which can support a multi-region stateful K8s data resiliency strategy that enables businesses to resume operations without the loss of data, are the key to unlocking the full potential of the stateful Kubernetes workloads. You can learn more about data resiliency best practices in this guide.