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Retention Levels – Another Disaster Recovery SLA

When looking at DR solutions, the two primary SLAs most often considered are RPO and RTO.

  • RPO (Recovery Point Objective) will determine the last good data set and potential for data loss or need for other data reconstruction methods.
  • RTO (Recovery Time Objective) will determine how quickly you can get business back online to an operational level.

In both cases above, lower values are better – that translate into less data gap and quicker return to service.

However, in overall data protection, business continuity considerations and disaster recovery, retention level may be equally important. Retention level will determine how far back in time you can go to find a viable data set. This is critical when the disaster situation may have started long before the disaster is detected – such as ransomware attacks or other data corruption scenarios. Data protection solutions with limited retention levels – either in number or time frame – may not provide adequate coverage of business-critical data sets to handle all the desired disaster recovery scenarios.

VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery was designed to provide not only near-term recovery points with as low as 30-minute intervals but also flexible and longer-term data retention level capabilities.

The Protection Group (PG) policy definitions allow for several different protection schedules (up to 10) – each schedule with its own frequency and retention level. Each PG policy also supports a significant number of recovery point instances (i.e., 1,000 for 30-minute RPO). This allows for more robust and flexible protection policies for VMs in the protected site inventory.

For example, this comprehensive protection policy below would only generate a little over 700 recovery points – well within the solution limits:

  • Every 30 minutes for 10 days (480 total) for near-term recovery
  • Every day for 4 months (120 total) for less stringent recoveries
  • Every week for 2 year (100 total) for worst case roll back scenarios
VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Protection Group Schedules

NOTE: concurrent recovery points that occur at the same time (e.g., the snapshot that happens once a day that might coincide with all 3 scheduling rules) are supported with a single instance – optimizing backup storage and reducing total recovery point counts.

More information on setting up VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Protection Groups can be found in the product documentation.

The flexible Protection Group policy definitions supported in VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery can easily provide the low RPO, and RTO levels needed along with deeper retention levels to support today’s most critical disaster recovery situations.