The topic of backups is a mixed bag to most people. Some people are adamant about having a backup or their data and some are like ‘yeah it’ll be fine’. But it’s as easy as 3-2-1 (the rule).
Backups are an integral part of a business continuity plan. Without them, you don’t have one.
In this post, we’ll quickly cover off our number 1 tip for backups, and how you can quickly get your data secured and safe.
Ask yourself this question: In the worst-case scenario, where your laptop was stolen with no chance of recovery, or server went up in flames, would you be able to get back up and running without any issues or would you fall over and die?
Let’s hope you can get back up and running without any issues. Starting from day 0 would suck.
Here’s our quick tip to get you ready as a backup DOER, not a DON’TER.
Just do it. The 3-2-1(2) Rule.
- 3 copies of your data (including the original).
- 2 copies of your data on different mediums (storage such as hard drives, cloud, tape).
- 1 copy offsite (not in the same physical location as the original).
That’s it. Follow that and you are good to go! Is that it?
No, we’ll iterate on all 3 points and especially on the 1(2) copy offsite.
Backups Rule 1: 3 copies of data.
Having 3 copies of your data (including the original) is a great way to know that you have it backed up somewhere.
If 1 of your copies get corrupt, stolen, damaged, etc, you’ll still have 2 more copies to refer to.
This does require an investment in storage solutions to store the backups on but it’s better to spend a few hundred dollars on backups than spending a few thousand or more in getting your business back up and running.
Backups Rule 2: 2 copies on different mediums.
Storing your backups on different mediums is another great way to provide resiliency in the case of one type of media failure.
Keeping backups on an external hard drive is great, but if you have 2 copies on external hard drives and they both happen to fail (as hard drives do), then you are in some deep doo-doo.
With the availability of storage types today you’ll easily find 2 to backup to. There are external hard drives, NAS boxes, Blu-ray/DVD/CD, tape drives, cloud storage, and probably a few others that we’ve not used before.
Backups Rule 3: 1(2) copies offsite.
And the last point, having a copy offsite. Easily done by putting your backup in the cloud or storing it at a colocated/offsite building.
But why the (2)?
This is where the extra redundancy of cloud storage providers such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox comes into play. Being cloud storage solutions, they already exist in the cloud but are not an actual backup, but they do provide a form of resiliency to data loss as your data sits in 2 locations.
So, leverage your cloud storage solution as another backup point for your documents, pictures, videos if you need to (as much as your storage allows) and ensure that you also have a backup of this (as you know, cloud storage is not a backup).
Bonus: Software Recommendations.
With the amount of backup software and vendors out there, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t work.
Here are our recommendations to keep your data safe and sound.
With unlimited storage and a retention of 30 days (for personal), it’ll do what you need for a reasonable price.
It’s easy to use. You’ll only need to install it, set it up once and forget about it. It automatically keeps your data backed up to the cloud.
To learn more head to https://www.backblaze.com/. They offer a free trial for the personal backup product at https://www.backblaze.com/cloud-backup.html.
This is the go-to for enterprise-level backups for businesses. With a slew of features and products to cover servers (virtual and physical), desktops, Office 365 and more, they got you covered.
We have used Veeam and in our experience, it’s a very good product that will cover most, if not all of your business requirements.
To learn more head to https://www.veeam.com/. Most of their products come with a free trial so you can use it before you make the commitment.
Do It Yourself
A free option is to DIY your own solution. This won’t cost you a cent but it does take some effort to get it setup.
You can use free backup software such as Duplicati, Veeam Agent, or some other free alternative and configure it to backup to an external hard drive that you may have lying around. You could also backup your important data by copying it manually to a removable storage medium.
Another alternative is to make sure your important data sits in a cloud storage folder that is being synced to the cloud. This does double duty as an offsite replica – not a ‘backup’ as any changes will be synced across. It does provide a certain level of protection with version roll back and recovery from the cloud recycle bin/trash.
Going back to point one, you could also utilise the free software to backup your data to a cloud storage services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or cloud storage like Amazon S3, Azure Cloud Storage or Backblaze B2.
There are many ways to spin a custom solution, but these are just a few of the many examples you could do.
The end. Or is it?
With those points laid out and easily digestible, there are other points we’d like to cover before you head off and start backing up everything in your life and business.
You know that one word ‘stolen’, where someone took your data? This can be a huge risk to some people due to the sensitivity of the data they back up or store.
If you have backups that are stored in an unencrypted way (not secure) then anyone will be able to freely look through your data and take what they want (if they have access).
This is where encryption comes into play. This will secure your data so that people cannot snoop in on what you have backed up and viewed its contents.
When picking a backup solution, make sure that it supports encryption at rest and in transit. You don’t want people looking into your home, so why would you want them scrutinising your data/backups?
Take those points to home and get to work. Get your data backed up now following the 3-2-2 rule WITH encryption, and you’ll be able to sleep easy at night.
Contact us via our contact page https://www.eons.nz/contact-us/ to find out how we can help you keep your data safe. Our quick services overview for Backups and Disaster Recovery https://www.eons.nz/backup-disaster-recovery/.
Featured Image Attribution: Technology vector created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com