“Data is the new oil, some say the gold, of the 21st century”, announced Joe Kaeser, Siemens CEO at a 2018 tech forum in Stockholm. For businesses, as well as individuals, data is more valuable than ever before.
Protecting that data is essential. A robust data backup strategy can help you do just that. In the event of a disaster – such as ransomware, flood, or power outage – data backups can help you get up and running as soon as possible.
Must Haves In A Data Backup Strategy
Onsite Backups: When a server crashes or fails, it is helpful to have data backups on hand for easy restoration. It’s a cliché, but time is indeed money. Onsite backups are often faster to restore than cloud backups and almost always faster than offsite tape backups.
Offsite Backups: Onsite backups are valuable, but they cannot be counted on alone. Should something disastrous happen to the data center, it could also damage any backups you have in the building. For that reason, it is always wise to have copies of your backups offsite where they can be accessed manually or through the cloud.
Optimized Backup Schedule: Backups are not a one and done process. Key data in your data center must be regularly and consistently backed up according to a clear and organized schedule. Check out our blog article on just a few backup rotation schemes for more information.
Backup Testing: Backups need to be tested and need to be tested regularly. In addition, the IT staff must be trained on how to access and restore their data backups as quickly as possible. A backup that fails or a team that is unable to restore the backup quickly undermines the company’s investment in a backup solution in the first place.
Organized Storage System: Mostly applying to tape-based backup solutions, the storage repository for backups and labeling system must be clear and organized. The team cannot commit extra time digging through box after box of tape looking for a specific backup from a specific date several years ago.
A 3-2-1 Backup Strategy
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:
- At least THREE copies of your data;
- Backed-up data on TWO different storage types;
- At least ONE copy of the data offsite.
Speed Is The Key
Central to all of these backup must-haves is speed. Backups not only need to be reliable and accessible, but the company needs to be able to restore the data quickly. When assessing possible data backup strategies in your environment, do not lose sight of this metric.