Oh data, how can I lose thee? Let me count the ways: viruses, power surge, theft, failed hard drive, physical damage, data corruption, and let’s not forget - human error!
We all know that important data should be backed up, ensuring that our data will survive in the event of a catastrophe, big or small. In theory, backing up is a straightforward process: copy all of your files to some other device, keep the backup somewhere safe, and use it to restore the data in the event of a problem. But is one back up enough? How, when and where should data be backed up, and how can you really be sure you are fully protected in the event of a disaster or data loss scenario?
One tried and true formula that can effectively address almost any failure scenario is called the 3-2-1 Backup Rule. The rule answers the questions above and provides further guidance for a establishing a comprehensive backup strategy.
THE 3-2-1 BACKUP RULE
- At least three copies of your data
- In two different formats
- With one of those backups offsite
At Least Three Copies
Three different copies means your original data, plus two copies, stored in different places. (Different folders on the same hard drive or flash drive do not count.) Three copies of data ensure a much lower likelihood of failure. If the odds of failure on a single device is, say, 1 in 100, then the probability of failure