The 3-2-1 Rule of Backup

The 3-2-1 Rule of Backup

In a time where almost all of our lives exist online, most of us have, or know someone that has lost data. While most of these are probably individuals on their personal devices, we can only imagine the number of businesses that are subject to loss of hardware each year.

A recent survey found that two-thirds of the businesses polled don’t take advantage of even basic security practices such as encryption, backup and anti-theft technology.

At Stratus, we can provide advice and strategies on making the most of your backup system, so that you’re always in control. One of the easiest and most effective to implement is the 3-2-1 strategy.

What is a 3-2-1 backup strategy?

As the name suggests, the 3-2-1 strategy means having at least 3 copies of your data. 2 of these will be local but on two devices and at least 1 copy will be offsite. Let’s take a look at an example:

You take a picture of your new puppy which can be found on your computer as ‘puppy.jpg’. That’s copy number 1. You also have one external hard drive that you use for backing up your computer. This is backup a second copy of ‘puppy.jpg’. In addition to this, your computer also has an online backup solution. This regularly scans your computer and uploads your data offsite to a data centre. When ‘puppy.jpg’ gets swept up in this upload, the third copy is created. Simple, right?

But, why?

An onsite backup is an easy way of having instant access to your data should anything happen to your computer. If the hard drive crashes and your external hard drive is up-to-date, it will be pretty easy to get most of your data back. Most external hard drives now come with their own software to make sure they are always up-to-date.

Onsite backups are a good place to start, especially for quick access but having an additional offsite source is key to having a complete backup strategy. Also, while it’s not nice to think about, accidents and theft do happen and having two backup sources close together means that they’ll both be equally susceptible to data loss.

Think of backups like investments – you want to diversify them enough so that your data’s exposure is limited. Having a local backup and an offsite backup gives you options for data recovery, which is why the 3-2-1 strategy is a great place to start.