Preston said that data restore speed is limited by the equipment available -- meaning that budgets and organizational priorities will impact how well a restore will work when you need it. "[Recovery speed is] going to be something measured in minutes, to hours, to days. It depends on how well you architected your system, how much money you were allowed to spend, because everybody knows that backups [are] a money pit; no company ever made money by spending more money on their backup system. So, you probably have a system that's underprovisioned, or maybe it was designed three or four years ago; and now you've outgrown it, so you kick off the restore, and time goes by, and it's never going to be fast enough," he said.
He also noted that as organizations store more and more data, the physical amount of data being backed up or restored amounts to a "continual fight" with Albert Einstein. "This is simply a matter of physics. You've got a certain number of gigabytes or terabytes that you copy from A to B, and the more you have, the longer it takes," Preston said.
Preston said the most important aspect of managing an organization's backup processes is making sure efforts support its recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO), which establish recovery speed standards that should be met during data recovery.
"If you're not using the [terms] RTO and RPO in your day-to-day conversations when you're talking about your backup system, something is wrong," Preston said.