Is the 3-2-1 rule antiquated?



  • In a conversation that I was having today with someone, it was stated that the 3-2-1 rule is "old" or "antiquated".

    I immediately said that is wrong, and explained why and how rearranging existing equipment to fit the need isn't a money sink, and only provides more protection than current "modern" (off site backup only solutions) include.

    What do you guys think? Is 3-2-1 dead?



  • Well it's old as in it has been around for forever, that much is certainly true.





  • I think that 3-2-1 is over simplified. There are numerous backup strategies and not all of the time does the 3-2-1 really fit the model well.



  • 3-2-1 is more commonly the best fit for the SMB.

    Grandfather - Father - Son is more complex because by itself, it does not mean anything is even on a second storage device.

    3-2-1 is really the simplest thing.

    This is the 3
    Copy 1 - You have your original data (server)
    Copy 2 - Your local backup
    Copy 3 - Your offsite backup.

    Copy 1 and Copy 2 being on two different devices is the 2

    Copy 3 being offsite is the 1.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Is the 3-2-1 rule antiquated?:

    In a conversation that I was having today with someone, it was stated that the 3-2-1 rule is "old" or "antiquated".

    I immediately said that is wrong, and explained why and how rearranging existing equipment to fit the need isn't a money sink, and only provides more protection than current "modern" (off site backup only solutions) include.

    What do you guys think? Is 3-2-1 dead?

    I'm not a big fan of backups on the cloud... what I think the better solution to have, is the "1" part being on the cloud (like to replace tape). And the rest of them being on-prem.

    I would only want to restore from cloud in the case of a big disaster, like in the case of a site loss which includes on-site backups being lost. Most cloud backup services will even spin up your VMs in the cloud in such a case, and some even promise to have them up within a predefined time period for predefined VMs. I know Unitrends does that, probably others too.



  • Okay so it seems to be a bit murky (the way I described it).

    The idea is only use cloud hosted backups, and not bother with local on premises backups, even if the devices are available.

    While any cloud provider is way more robust than anything that can be built in-house. And while I agree here, cloud providers are way larger and more robust than anything that can be built in-house, the recovery time allotted from restoring from the cloud is still 1-Day + (assuming they shipped a copy of the data to you etc).

    If everything was solely hosted in the cloud, then I could agree that cloud only backups would make sense (no on-premise servers at all). But that doesn't work with our model.



  • No, even with a fast internet connection, I would think you would still want onsite backups for fast restores. I guess the exception would be if you had a 1Gb internet connection and your cloud backup could support those speeds.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Is the 3-2-1 rule antiquated?:

    In a conversation that I was having today with someone, it was stated that the 3-2-1 rule is "old" or "antiquated".

    I immediately said that is wrong, and explained why and how rearranging existing equipment to fit the need isn't a money sink, and only provides more protection than current "modern" (off site backup only solutions) include.

    What do you guys think? Is 3-2-1 dead?

    While old i see no reason for it to be dead. It is sound advice and can be tweaked for any particular need.



  • @mike-davis said in Is the 3-2-1 rule antiquated?:

    No, even with a fast internet connection, I would think you would still want onsite backups for fast restores. I guess the exception would be if you had a 1Gb internet connection and your cloud backup could support those speeds.

    I agree with Mike here. That is the reason for the rule in the first place. You don';t have to use the cloud but even if you don't you will want something onsite so data can be accessed and restored in a reasonable amount of time. I don't know about others but I always considered my offsite data to be archived or disaster recovery data. As in no reason to pull from there until your current physical location is completely wiped out.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Is the 3-2-1 rule antiquated?:

    Okay so it seems to be a bit murky (the way I described it).

    The idea is only use cloud hosted backups, and not bother with local on premises backups, even if the devices are available.

    While any cloud provider is way more robust than anything that can be built in-house. And while I agree here, cloud providers are way larger and more robust than anything that can be built in-house, the recovery time allotted from restoring from the cloud is still 1-Day + (assuming they shipped a copy of the data to you etc).

    No, you want a local backup always. I mean seriously, how long do you wnat your backup software to have a snapshot sitting out there while the data is uploaded to a cloud host?

    By using a local target and the offsiting that, you keep the load off the production server.



  • @DustinB3403 was this conversation in a discussion of "I use the cloud, it is backed up"?

    I've heard that 4 times this week, and it's starting to concern me, especially since two people almost wiped out their data on the cloud.



  • @brrabill said in Is the 3-2-1 rule antiquated?:

    @DustinB3403 was this conversation in a discussion of "I use the cloud, it is backed up"?

    I've heard that 4 times this week, and it's starting to concern me, especially since two people almost wiped out their data on the cloud.

    No, just different approaches to trying to maintain a backup of production data. Which simply put is, if I keep a detatched copy offsite in a level 4 data center, the data is safe from local disasters. - True

    But it could take hours or days to restore whatever is held in that data center.



  • the majority of the previous cases of implementing such solutions indicates that the most popular would be the one where the data would first be replicated between 2 hosts, on site and one off prem.



  • @dims said in Is the 3-2-1 rule antiquated?:

    the majority of the previous cases of implementing such solutions indicates that the most popular would be the one where the data would first be replicated between 2 hosts, on site and one off prem.

    Yes, because normally that is insant, you'd not want to wait for the WAN copy before making the local one.