The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy | What Is It and How to Implement?

What is 3-2-1 backup strategy?

A lot of files or projects are created every day, on your computer, external drive, or server. The computer you’re connecting to Internet is also facing the exposure for virus infection, attacking, human error, etc. every single minute. You’re may be encountering storage failure now, or nearly future. To prevent the mess-up after data loss, it is crucial to find a robust backup solution or strategy.

Granted, there are no such perfect backup strategies for all possible or potential situations where your data might be loss. However, the 3-2-1 data backup strategy may be the best practice that is recommended by IT professionals and even some national data security bureaus. The 3-2-1 backup strategy principle is more suitable for small and medium-sized companies as well as home computers.

Anyhow, it is a good start to back things up because it is better safe than sorry. Then, what is the 3-2-1 backup strategy plan exactly? Let’s have a closer look.

Keep at least3

copies of your data

The first principle of 3-2-1 backup strategy is to keep at least 3 copies of your data, including the original copy and at least two backups. For instance, there is File-A on the hard drive of your computer. You need to create at least two backups of the File-A which can be named to File-A-backup1 and File-A-backup2.

You have to admit that the probability of data loss in multiple places is smaller than in one place. To qualify the “multiple places”, you need to create several backups first. In this principle, 3 copies are enough. Well, in the 3-2-1 backup strategy what does the 2 stand for?

Although you have created 3 copies of your important data, it would be easy to get corrupted if you put them on one place. One damaged, all damaged. As a result, it is suggested to store the two backups on 2 different storage types, such as external hard drives, USB flash drives, portable drives, SD cards, pen drives, CD/DVD discs, etc.

This action reduces the risk for data loss. Even if one of those storage devices fails, the backup on another would be readily for restoring. Then, what does the 1 stand for?

Keep the backup data on

2different devices

Keep at least1

copy of the data offsite

In general, offsite means remotely. However, it is safe enough if you can keep at least 1 backup stored in another place long distance, i.e. instead of onsite. Hard drive devices fail eventually, so a perfect place for offsite would be Cloud drive, NAS or network share.

Physical storages may be damaged by human error, flood, earthquake, or stolen by theft, but that is hardly appear on network drives especially the cloud storage that offered by well-known service providers. Believe it or not, they have more strict ways to ensure data’s security.

After the brief understanding of 3-2-1 backup strategy approach, you may wonder how you could make it easily. In the next part, an easy-to-use yet professional backup solution, AOMEI Backupper, would be introduced.

How does AOMEI Backupper fit with the 3-2-1 compliance?

AOMEI Backupper is all-around and comprehensive backup software that designed for Windows operating systems only. It has different editions that apply to different operating systems (PCs or Servers) on different occasions (Single or Enterprises).

Multiple Available Editions for Different Purposes
Five different editions of AOMEI Backupper, Standard, Professional, Server, Technician and Technician Plus, are provided. Therein, the AOMEI Backupper Standard edition is free of charge and earns good reputation among thousands of users. Windows PC supported. The Professional edition and Server edition are embedded with more powerful features that the Standard one does not have, and support Windows PC and Windows Server separately.
As for an Enterprise backup strategy service provider, AOMEI Backupper also offers advanced editions, which are Technician edition (for Unlimited PCs) and Technician Plus edition (for Unlimited Servers & PCs). With so many different types of editions, you could absolutely find the most suitable one.
Reliable Software with Powerful Features
The software embeds with many powerful features that could help you start with a 3-2-1 approach. In detail, it allows you to backup files, folders, partitions/volumes, system drives, hard drives, etc. with full backup, incremental and differential backup. Back up to local disks, external drives, flash drives, CD/DVD discs, NAS, network drives and cloud drives.
In addition, you can also compress backup image to save disk space, split image to fit CD or DVD ROM, password encrypt backups to provide additional protective layer, or set email notification to real time monitor backup tasks. The Backup Scheme in paid edition saves disk space while ensures backup up-to-date all the time.
For backing up drive or disk that needed to be readily all the time, it is suggested to perform cloning features like System Clone, Disk Clone or Partition/Volume Clone. Let’s get to know them one by one.

How do you implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy step by step?

In the first place, please install AOMEI Backupper on desired computer(s). Connect the external storage device(s) in advance. Here will take File Backup with AOMEI Backupper Professional edition for example. Run the software.

Ensure 3 copies of your data

1. At the main interface, click Backup and then File Backup.

2. Click Add File or Add Folder and then Browse to select the files you’d like to back up.

3. Select the destination path to store the first backup. Here will choose the E drive on the external storage. You can also copy Windows OS to flash drive.

4. Click Scheme and tick Enable Disk Space Management to select a strategy.

5. Finally, click Start Backup on the main interface to execute the task now or later.

On 2 different types of storage and 1 offsite

1. To create another task, repeat the first step above. Then, select a different destination place this time. Here will select network share for example. Click Share/NAS on the left pane.

2. Select the path. Please click Add share or NAS device and then input username and password as required if you backup to network or NAS for the first time.

3. Click Scheme to set schedule backup scheme again. Finally, click Start Backup on the main interface.

To backup to Cloud drive, please first install the desktop application of your cloud on the computer.
The Check Image in Utilities allows you to check the integrity of your backup, which ensures that your "backup" will not be blank or corrupted when you need to restore.