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In a world of constantly changing technologies and their demand for bigger, better and faster ways of storing data, best practices for data governance can quickly evolve. This has not been the case for the 3-2-1 backup rule. This golden rule has withstood the test of time and applies to everything, from data stored on physical hardware or virtual machines, either locally or on a provider’s infrastructure. It’s time for companies with DIY backup solutions to stop flirting with disaster and implement a reliable approach for their data backup.

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Backup Success: Easy as 3-2-1.

The 3-2-1 backup rule is extremely simple. It requires that you have 3 copies of your data stored on 2 different media or devices with 1 of those copies located off-site. There are many companies that practice elements of the 3-2-1 backup rule. However, it’s only when you practice all three at the same time that you truly benefit from the complete backup strategy.

Here’s  a closer look at the three elements of this rule and why they’re so important.

1.      Have at Least Three Copies of Your Data

Having your original plus two other copies significantly decreases your chances of losing data if any of your storage devices fail. Consider this:

  • If a device has 1/100 chances of failure and a second device has the same probability of failure, then your chances of losing your data are 1/10,000  (1/100 x 1/100)
  • Add a third device and your chances drop significantly to 1/1,000,000 (1/100 x 1/100 x 1/100)!

In other words, if you think you’re adequately protected by keeping 2 copies of your data, adding a third copy is an even better guarantee against failure!

2.      Store the Copies on Two Different Media

Sure, you could theoretically store 3 copies of your data on a single device. However, we’d like to point out that you’ll be better protected if your second and third copies are stored on two different devices. Despite the numbers displayed in the probability equations above, your risk of losing data will definitely not decrease if all three copies are stored on the same device!

You can store your data on media devices such as magnetic tapes, USB drives, network-attached storage or dedicated cloud storage.

3.      Keep One Backup Copy Off-site

Why store your data copies in different physical locations? Imagine what would happen if a flood or fire occurred and all your data was stored in the same location. All copies would be destroyed, making your disaster recovery plan completely useless.

Tapes and other physical media may require some extra hardware to access and restore the data backups. However, all you need for cloud storage is network access. This makes it a more interesting option for an off-site backup.

 

Master 3-2-1 Backup with Sherweb and Veeam Cloud Connect

Organizations of any size can easily comply with the first two elements of the 3-2-1 backup rule (Have at Least 3 Copies of Your Data and Store the Copies on Two Different Media). It’s just a question of having a well-defined backup plan and sticking to it. However, finding an off-site backup can be pretty tough, especially for SMBs. As public and private cloud usage continue to rise, virtual machines are becoming more common and companies are struggling to find reliable backup solutions for their cloud environments.

Sherweb understood the need for a solution that fits with the reality SMBs face and chose to partner with Veeam, the internationally-known VM backup solution provider. By using Sherweb Performance Cloud servers and Veeam’s Cloud Connect backup solution, our partners and their clients can build an effective Disaster Recovery plan. This is an enterprise-grade solution with an SMB price tag.

 

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Written by Guillaume Boisvert Director, Product Innovation @ Sherweb

Guillaume identifies and evaluates new solutions and product features that help Sherweb and its partners grow and compete. He’s also in charge of Office Protect, and led the team responsible for building and commercializing Sherweb’s in-house security service. He has almost two decades of experience developing software-as-a-service (SaaS), both as a technical lead and as a product manager.