"Every company has certain applications that must be managed for high availability. Whether driven by business or regulatory mandates, these applications must be available 24/7 or as close to that as possible. Keeping these applications up and running while performing all of their necessary administration and maintenance is a real challenge. Products that meet recovery requirements for both data and apps are starting to appear; however, they're currently geared toward small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and concentrate mainly on Microsoft Exchange.
In the last five years, data recovery technologies have been introduced that let users recover data to almost any desired previous point in time, shorten recovery times to minutes for even very large data sets and minimize the amount of storage capacity required for data protection tasks. But there's a class of apps for which data recovery by itself isn't sufficient. They require recovery of data and of the app itself in the most automated way possible.
The ultimate objective for any recovery operation is to keep the business running; in the case of an application outage, lessening its impact on revenue or customer service is critical. The key recovery metrics are recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). It's therefore important to understand what the recovery requirements are for each app before an appropriate solution can be chosen."