Do you know the 3-2-1 backup rule? It is a fundamental principle for protecting your data. Following the 3-2-1 backup rule will ensure you have good copies of your data to go to when a failure occurs in your organization.
Learn it and plan for it up front and you will be protected when disaster strikes.
3-2-1 Backup Rule
Here it is in a nutshell:
– Have 3 copies of your data,
– Keep 2 copies in different places
– Make sure 1 of those copies is offsite
Let’s go into detail on each of these.
Have 3 Copies Of Your Data – The 1st Copy
The first of your three copies is the original.
Your original data is likely stored on a server or shared drive and is the copy you use daily for production work. All staff have access to it.
You take precautions on it of course, and it probably has some redundancies and safeguards built in to preserve that original copy as much as possible.
In a perfect world you never have to worry about anything but this copy – but we both know we don’t live in that world.
Keep 2 Copies On Different Media – The 2nd Copy
Your second copy of the 3-2-1 backup rule is kept close, probably locally, but in a different environment than the original.
This second copy is not readily available to the general staff in any way. (Veeam goes so far as to say 2 different media“)
Don’t map a drive to it as Ransomware will follow mapped drives.
Trend Micro says you don’t even want it in the same format as the original (2 different formats).
How do you keep a readily-available copy of your data, but in a way that cannot be damaged?
- DO NOT put it on the same RAID, different segment
- DO NOT put it right beside the original data
- Put a copy on a NAS and make it read-only, or disconnect it from the network
- Copy it to an external hard drive and disconnect that hard drive
- Use a designated workstation, separate from the production network and use a hybrid backup to store it locally, and encrypted.
The goal is a different type of storage media; tapes, external hard drives, SD Card, etc.
This 2nd copy is your first point of restore. It is much faster to restore from a local copy than pull files through the Internet. 90% of all your restores will come from your 2nd copy.
You want it safe, and yet you want it available.
Keep 1 Of Those Copies Offsite – The 3rd Copy
Your third copy in the 3-2-1 backup rule is offsite. Most recommend it is in the cloud.
Why in the cloud? Because if your loss is due to flood or fire you need somewhere else to pull from. If your your data is compromised by Ransomware you don’t want this third copy anywhere near them!
These days this third copy should be your cloud backup.
A cloud backup is encrypted and compressed, sent offsite, is completely separate from your corporate network, and yet is available to you in an emergency from wherever you happen to be.
It can be restored back to the server once the damaged files are deleted. You could restore to a new device temporarily while you assess the full extent of the damage.
In the event of a full disaster you can restore to the replacement server you are configuring at a different location as you go through your recovery steps.
This third copy is your insurance policy. You will hopefully almost never go there, but you’ll be very, very happy to have it when you need it.
Plan Up Front
You will be much further ahead if you plan your office infrastructure and backups with the 3-2-1 backup rule in mind. Know it and put the right pieces in place you’ll know you always have a protected copy somewhere you can restore from.
Our service is the third copy, the cloud backup.