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What is the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy?

What is the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy?

If you’ve performed any type of research or even a skim over various backup solutions – you’ve probably come across the 3-2-1 backup strategy. You may have heard IT pros, consultants and backup vendors reference this. The reason being that it’s best practice for backup and recovery.

What is the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy?

But what does it all mean? We’ll cover this below!

3 is for the number of copies of data you keep

It may seem like a long shot – however things such as sprinkler systems, hardware theft or even just a dead hard drive could cause a data loss incident. Therefore; having one backup is probably not sufficient – especially if it’s located in the same proximity as the main data set.

The 3-2-1 strategy indicates that at least three copies of the data needs to be kept. This includes the original source data, along with at least two backups.

2 is for the number of different storage used to house your backups

It’s well known that hardware is prone to fail. Now imagine if you had all your backups on the failing media – you’ve just broken the ‘3’ part of the strategy. You’re left with only one copy of your data (until the next successful backup).

This is why it’s important to have your backups stored on more than one physical device. The most common way this is achieved is by running backups to a NAS device within the server room; then either replicating the data off to the cloud, or some other form of portable device like a USB hard drive.

At Test My Backups, we take this a little further. We prefer to have a system and a file based backup. This gives two different types of backup to go along with the two different media types used.

1 is for the minimum number of backups kept offsite at all times

As mentioned earlier, if all your data is kept in the same place then it’s likely a disaster scenario will wipe everything out! A server room flood, building collapse and all data is gone!

The 3-2-1 method suggests to get around such situations is to store at least one backup offsite at all times. This means have a copy of the data in the cloud or the physical rotating media stored securely at a third location.

There you have it. It’s as simple as 3-2-1.

Does Test My Backups deal with the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy?

You bet we do! We’ve spent many years dealing with various backup scenarios and solutions. While it’s not perfect (but really…what is?); we’ve found that implementing a 3-2-1 Backup Strategy is the most resilient way to cover businesses from the most possible disaster scenarios!

Need help to make sure that you’re businesses backups are 3-2-1 compliant? Reach out now!

#321backupstrategy #backupandrecovery

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