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To address an organization’s disaster recovery requirements, backup intervals should not exceed

service level objective (SLO).

recovery time objective (RTO).

recovery point objective (RPO).

maximum acceptable outage (MAO).

The recovery point objective (RPO) defines the point in time to which data must be restored after
a disaster so as to resume processing transactions. Backups should be performed in a way that
the latest backup is no older than this maximum time frame. If service levels are not met, the usual
consequences are penalty payments, not cessation of business. Organizations will try to set service
level objectives (SLOs) so as to meet established targets. The resulting time for the service level
agreement (SLA) will usually be longer than the RPO. The recovery time objective (RTO) defines
the time period after the disaster in which normal business functionality needs to be restored. The
maximum acceptable outage (MAO) is the maximum amount of system downtime that is tolerable.
It can be used as a synonym for RTO. However, the RTO denotes an objective/target, while the
MAO constitutes a vital necessity for an organization’s survival.

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