The 3-2-1 Backup strategy is an approach to increase a company’s crucial data resilience in case of any disaster. The key is keeping several backup copies of data, spread across separate storage sites. This strategy helps to cover organizational needs, such as keeping crucial data safe in compliance with applied government regulations.
In this article, we are going to review the key points of the “3-2-1” backup strategy and how CloudBerry Backup can simplify its implementation.
3-2-1 Backup Strategy
The backup strategy, known as “3-2-1 backup rule”, can help save your data in case of disasters, human error, or the actions of intruders. The rule claims that you need to:
- Have at least three separate copies with no direct influence on one another. One copy of the data - is the original dataset. Two of the rest are the backups.
- These copies are stored on two physically independent devices with no cross-data synchronization, nor access of any kind, e.g. one copy placed on an internal hard drive, and the second stored on a DVD/Flash/External drive. You can also use network drives or cloud storage as the secondary data point.
- At least one data copy should be placed outside of the primary data center or office. Using an additional data site can help in cases of large-scale disaster e.g. fire, flooding or other force majeure circumstances. Traditional methods call upon using an external or commercial data center with backup storage installed, but the cloud era proposes cheaper and more efficient, geo-redundant cloud storage solutions.
Following this strategy, you can not only save crucial data but ensure compliance with government regulations and industry standards, applied to your company. For example, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) claims that all medical, insurance and financial organizations working with private clients’ data, must store all electronic data archives for at least six years, starting from the last access to such data. Six years is long enough time to put on the absence of any accidents.
Moreover, HIPAA requires applied organizations to have a detailed contingency plan, including these actions and processes:
- Analyzing massive disaster risk.
- Having a backup plan for applied data.
- Strong encryption of such data.
- Data safety precautions, in case of disaster, of any kind.
- Using procedures of data modification control to ensure authenticity.
- Implementation of emergency data recovery processes.
Bottom line - 3-2-1 backup strategy is useful for organizations of any size, that are worried about crucial data safety. But the strategy’s implementation does not have to be expensive or overcomplicated. Larger companies can rent or build a separate data center, with expensive hardware storage and hire additional system administrators to support it; but smaller ones can use cloud services as affordable, off-site storage, with flexible prices. Of course, you will not have specialized individuals maintaining your backup infrastructure, but you will get highly-resilient data storage for an affordable price.
When choosing the right solution for your company, check whether it supports new data uploading/downloading features, provided by the cloud storage provider of your choice. By using these features you can dramatically save time and money on initial backup data seeding and data recovery, in case of disaster. It is also important to ensure support of low-cost archive storage classes, e.g. Amazon Glacier or Google Coldline.
Compliant Backup with CloudBerry Hybrid Backup
CloudBerry Backup fully supports the 3-2-1 backup strategy allowing data to be stored locally and in the cloud. The feature is called Hybrid Backup and it is available starting from CloudBerry Backup 5.6.
Hybrid Backup includes these backup steps:
- Preparing the local backup copy (may include compression and encryption).
- Uploading said copy to the cloud storage of the user's choice. This step allows you to skip running an additional backup job on the source machine, thus saving its performance and local network bandwidth. To further improve upload times you can also use additional data transfer optimizations supported in CloudBerry Backup.
When choosing your own implementation of the 3-2-1 backup strategy, keep in mind that most popular cloud storage providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage platform, etc) mostly have geo-distributed architecture, that allows them to survive even after massive natural disasters. When you own a data center, you have lots of bills to pay. When you store your data in the cloud you only pay for gigabytes stored, hence saving money and having the ability to scale storage systems, as your business grows.
CloudBerry Backup is an all-in-one solution, that supports dozens of popular cloud storage providers and allows the user to choose flexible options for local backup.
When it comes to local storage, organizations typically tend to implement NAS and SAN devices. Check out our article on the difference and common implementation of these two popular types of local storage:
Further reading SAN vs NAS Difference
Following 3-2-1 backup strategy with CloudBerry Backup also copes well with SSAE16 / ISAE 3402 Type II requirements as CloudBerry Backup is fully HIPAA-compliant:
Further reading HIPAA-Compliant Cloud Backup
While following 3-2-1 backup strategy, companies can ensure that their data will be saved in any negatively-impacted circumstances.
Being developed especially for cloud-oriented infrastructures, Cloudberry Backup fully supports 3-2-1 strategy, allowing you to configure local and offsite storage locations, all in one backup plan, and be prepared for a cloud disaster recovery.
You can check out the benefits of Hybrid Backup and try 3-2-1 backup strategy on your own, using our FREE trial version of CloudBerry Backup. If you have any questions - don't hesitate to contact us, or write a comment in the section below!