Data Backup: Easy as 3-2-1

Data Backup - Easy as 3-2-1A good and complete data backup of your computer system is your first line of defense against data loss.  And a little planning will protect you against a variety of mishaps. Whether your data is lost because of a disaster or held for ransom from a hacker, your data backup will save the day.  You can do the backup yourself or hire a managed services company to schedule and maintain,  Either way, it is important to understand your options.

An easy-to-understand strategy is the 3-2-1 backup plan. It has been used for years in the computer industry as a formula to protect data. This type of backup plan is simple but adequately safeguards data so that if the worst happens, the system can be rebuilt and the data restored – quickly and reliably.

3: Keep three copies of critical data. Be sure to have three unique copies of any data that you want to protect stored in three different places, including bare metal images, databases or files of any type. Having your data stored in multiple locations is important because it lessens the risk that a disaster would destroy more than one copy of your data. For instance, the local storage on an internal hard drive, external disk, NAS, tape, DVD, flash drive and Cloud can all count toward your three copies. Preferably, store external disks or tapes offsite in a fire-proof location. Cloud backup has built in redundancy by the provider but should only be counted as one of your three copies. It is important that the data is under your control and easily accessible.

2: Have your data on two types of media. Today, this primarily means on media in two different locations. Because disks are so reliable and economical today, they are the most common type of media used for small business backup. Even though tape backups are no longer used as widely in small business, it still has popularity in large environments. If you are backing up to the Cloud, it is likely to be saved to disk with tape archiving.

1: One copy must be offsite and offline. This is the critical copy that can be used to restore your system in case of a disaster where your IT resources are seriously compromised or destroyed. A tape or disk backup that’s offsite at a remote location will meet this criteria. But remote, cloud-based backup will not, unless it is also an offline copy.

Missing from the steps is one specifically for verification. Testing your data backup might be implied in the rule but I like to add a zero so there is no question that the backup will be tested.

Often business owners are overwhelmed with the variety of backup solutions, but don’t let the complexity prevent you from taking action. Use the simple rules of the 3-2-1 data backup plan with today’s technology to safeguard your business from even the worst disaster.

Contact us for a free roadmap that you can use to evaluate or create a backup strategy for your company.

About Mary

Mary is the CEO of LAN Systems. She is an electrical engineer who feels her greatest strength is the ability to connect with people. LAN Systems provides IT managed services and solutions to growing companies and non-profit organizations. You can contact Mary at

Speak Your Mind