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Preston: Drivers of a tight recovery time objective for data

In some data centers, organizations can be storing exabytes of data and generating a petabyte or more in a day. And with the growing needs of industries like biotech, entertainment and even professional sports -- where footage of a single football game ends up as gigabytes of files -- knowing how to deal with the logistics of restoring that data is critical.

As shown in this video, W. Curtis Preston, founder of Truth in IT and Backup Central, discussed some major factors that IT pros should keep in mind as they consider the recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) their organizations should expect.

He noted that organizations trying to determine RPOs and RTOs have to consider which data is needed -- and how much they're willing to invest to ensure it is restored as quickly as possible.

Since some applications are tied directly to business operations, they can't have lengthy downtimes and this drives a demand for short RTOs, he said. "They tend to be tied to these very critical business systems that can't experience downtime. So what you get is this RTO of a couple of hours … which is unacceptable. I need something in minutes."

Preston said one factor is data that's generated automatically by applications and has no contact with a human user. "We have Web apps, and phone apps, and all kinds of apps that are creating data and orders that no one in a company has any memory or knowledge of until they see [the data] displayed on their computer screen."

And in some cases, servers can be home to terabytes of data -- but in the form of small, individual files. This can make it more difficult to perform backups, he said.

"The problem [is that backup software is] spending more time trying to figure out how many files it has to back up, then it does backing [them] up," he said.

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