What is the 3-2-1 Rule for Data Backups?

  • data backup restoration

It’s no secret that backing up your data is important, but how exactly does one do so with 100% confidence in its security? One tried-and-true method experts employ is the “3-2-1 rule.” In an ever-evolving Information Technology (IT) world, the 3-2-1 data backup method has remained a constant for its simplicity and high effectiveness. When it comes time to back up your most valuable data, follow these guidelines.

Three (3) Copies of Your Data

The first part of the 3-2-1 data backup rule is to have three copies of the data in question. Redundancy is vital when it comes to preserving important information. Backing up properly is impossible without having multiple copies of the same data. You can have as many backups of your data as you wish but have at least three to comply with this rule of thumb. Three copies ensure that if something happens to the first and even to the second, you still have one copy left to duplicate.

Two (2) Sources of Media

Split your three copies of data across at least two different sources of media. For example, if you have two copies of the data on a flash drive, keep the other copy in the cloud. Allocating your data copies across more than one form of media can keep your information secure in the event that one type crashes or breaks. Secure media types for data storage include DVDs/CDs, hard drives, memory sticks, crash plans, and the cloud. Two media sources are always better than one.

One (1) Backup Stored Offsite

At this point, you should have three copies of your important data stored on two different sources of media. The final step of the 3-2-1 rule is to store one copy of your data offsite. For example, if your data exists at your office, you should store at least one backup away from your office, such as at a secure third-party storage facility. That way if your work computer crashes or the building burns down, you’ll still have at least one copy of your most important data stored in a safe offsite location. Make sure the location you choose is secure.

Count on Armstrong Archives for Secure Data Storage

Everyone who wants to hold onto their data should use the 3-2-1 data backup rule. Armstrong Archives can help. We are leaders in secure digital records management and document storage. We are well versed in the 3-2-1 rule and many other proven security strategies. Our secure offsite records management services can act as the “1” in your 3-2-1 plan, keeping backup copies of your valuable data in a place you know is secure. Contact us today for more information.

Sherri Taylor

Posted By: Sherri Taylor – President/Managing Partner

Sherri Taylor is the Managing Partner and President of Armstrong Archives, one of the largest independent records and information management companies in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.

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