The 3-2-1 Backup

A simple and effective backup strategy recommended by many IT professionals is the 3-2-1 Backup!  Simply stated, the 3-2-1 Backup recommends that you have three copies of your data kept on two different storage types with one copy located offsite. 

Let's break that down!

  • Have three copies of your data - When it comes to backups, redundancy is key.  At minimum, you need three copies of your data.  Consider the primary data source as one copy!  This means you need at least two additional copies or backups of your data.  We recommend that you use the Retail Pro Technician's Toolkit to create a backup of the primary data source.  That gives you the first backup.  From there, simply make a copy of the backup.  That gives you the second backup.  Bottom line, having multiple copies of your data makes it less likely to lose your data.
  • Store the backup copies on two different storage types - Having all three copies of your data in the same place (whether it's the same computer or different disks in the same RAID) is not a good idea.  If that storage device fails, all your data is lost.  Instead, copies of your data should be keep on a different media type altogether.  Most likely, the primary data source is located on an internal hard drive.  The two backup copies should be stored on removable storage media - tapes, external hard drives, USB drives, etc.  Bottom line, storing your data on different devices ensure that there is no single point of failure

Note: To maximize performance during the backup process, initially save the backup to the same computer as the primary data source and then copy or move (manually or via batch job) to removable media.

Keep one backup copy offsite - If all your data is stored in the same physical location, that data is still vulnerable to catastrophic events (fires, floods, etc.) as well as robberies.  Therefore, we recommend that one backup copy be kept in an offsite location or in the cloud.  The other backup copy can be kept onsite (on removable media) along with the primary data source, giving you quick and easy access for recovery purposes.

No backup strategy is 100% foolproof, but the 3-2-1 rule ensures that you'll have a copy of your data when the unthinkable happens.

Published on Feb 13, 2017 in Backup & Recovery


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