IT Center Blog: Backup Solution And 3-2-1 Rule
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Backup Solution: I Don't Need It, I Have a Memory Stick


Why do I need a backup?
«3-2-1» rule

Today's article starts a series of publications devoted to the narrow topics of information technology. Let's start with the task of  backup.

Backpack is unlucky: it is often underestimated, misinterpreted or even not considered for the task. In negotiations with potential customers we often hear variations of the same theme: "We do not need a backup, we have a system administrator who faithfully copies our database to a USB flash drive".

Let's talk about what a backup really is.

In the modern world, the topics with catchy names in which numerals are present are very popular. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, 333 Сats. Backup theorists also want to be on trend so let's talk about the principles of backup using the 3-2-1 rule as an example.

This rule can and should be argued, but it is a good starting point for thinking about the task of backup as such. It is  interesting that it was 3-2-1 that was documented and published on the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team website as a recommendation addressed to all computer security interests.

This document has several footnotes, one of which is the well-known Digital Asset Management for Photographersof photographer Peter Krogh. By the way there is the really brilliant photo project The Bench on his personal site right now. However, we are distracted.

So the the essence of the 3-2-1 rule is following:

· keep three copies of any important file;
· keep the files on two different media types of hazards;
· store one of these copies outside of master copy's location.

In practice it means that each critical file must be copied twice (master copy + two backups) onto fundamentally different media such as external hard disk driver + IT cloud or USB flash drive + DVD. One of these copies needs to be out of a business facility if it's business data or outside a home, if we are speaking about personal data.

All these seemingly strange motions are dictated by the theory of probability: we are considering different options for information loss and minimize the probability of occurrence of these events by redundancy.

All right, Ok, we've closed the technical side of the backup. But the next question is: when to back up? When to backup files changing every day? How often? Read about this in our next issue of the popular scientific column.

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