The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy: Best Practices For Backup


May 23, 2019 by Siobhan Climer and Jason Wankovsky

The 3-2-1 backup strategy is well-known across the industry. Despite drastic changes to the technology powering backups and even calls for – wait for it – a 3-1-2, 3-2-2, and 3-2-3 configurations, the 3-2-1 backup strategy provides a baseline rule by which companies can protect the data on which they rely.

The 3-2-1 backup strategy states that you should keep:

  1. At least THREE copies of your data;
  2. Backed-up data on TWO different storage types;
  3. At least ONE copy of the data offsite.

3-2-1 backup strategy


Why Does 3-2-1 Backup Strategy Work?


Backup is central to your disaster recovery strategy. Businesses that fail to backup their data are unable to recover from a disaster event. In fact, 60% of businesses who experience data loss shut down within 6 months of the event.

The 3-2-1 backup strategy provides a basic framework for complete backup and disaster recovery planning. By ensuring you have multiple data copies on different storage types in different places, you account for the following:

  • corrupted data
  • data loss
  • data theft
  • hardware failure
  • geographic-based disaster


Get the expertise you need to take the next step in your backup journey. Our backup and disaster recovery experts offer one-on-one free whiteboard sessions where we provide consultative conversation on the problems you are facing today. Join us for our next session by registering below.

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Fitting In The Cloud: Viable Off-Site Solution?


The uptick in cloud computing means many backup experts have shifted their definition of off-site to equal cloud. And while the cloud is a viable off-site solution, it probably shouldn’t be the only off-site solution.

Off-site should also include an addendum: offline. The off-site backup should be always accessible. Since the cloud operates via network connectivity, if the cloud isn’t accessible, neither will the off-site backup. Using the cloud as an off-site backup is ideal only when done in consort with a physically accessible off-site – offline – backup.


Off-Site, Offline, And Uptime


Designing and deploying a backup and disaster recovery strategy is essential to ensuring the business survives disaster events of every kind. Read our eBook Moving Away from Tape to understand how organizations are modernizing backup to better meets the changing dynamics of technology, business, and disaster.

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About Mindsight

Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.

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About The Authors

Jason Wankovsky is the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Consulting Services at Mindsight, an IT Services and Consulting firm located in the Chicago area. Jason has over 20 years of experience in IT management and executive leadership and is responsible for Mindsight’s technology vision. He is also focused on the creation and delivery of high value managed services for clients across multiple industries. Jason leads the solution architecture team that is responsible for delivering optimal technology services and solutions that enable the businesses of clients.

Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin two-year old daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.

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