Backup Best Practices Revisited – The 3-2-1-1-0 Backup Strategy

We’re likely all familiar with the 3-2-1 backup strategy, in fact we discuss this in detail on a previous post. However, this strategy now goes 2 steps further… 

A 3-2-1-1-0 strategy stipulates that you: 

  • Maintain at least 3 copies of business data. 
  • Store data on at least 2 different types of storage media. 
  • Keep 1 copy of the backups in an off-site location. 
  • Keep 1 copy of the media offline or air gapped.
  • Ensure all recoverability solutions have 0 errors.

The 3-2-1-1-0 method recommends an offline, or air gapped copy, either tape backups stored off-site as originally intended in 3-2-1, or cloud backups stored with immutability, meaning the data cannot be modified or changed. 

What is immutability and how is it achieved? 

Put simply, an immutable object is something that cannot be modified after it is created. Achieving immutability is simple with Vitanium and Veeam by using Object Lock with our Object Storage offering

Object Lock is a powerful function of Object Storage, that prevents a file from being altered or deleted until a given date. Through enabling Object Lock you can specify the length of time a backup should be locked for. 

Why do I need Object Lock? 

When Object Lock is set on data, any attempts to manipulate, encrypt, change, or delete the file will fail during that time. In terms of backups, this provides you with a bullet proof ransomware offering. The files may be accessed and read, but no one can change them, including the file owner or whoever set the Object Lock and, most importantly, any hacker that happens upon the credentials of that person. 

To be further protected 

The 3-2-1-1-0 strategy goes a step further to require that backups are stored with zero errors. This includes data monitoring on a daily basis, correcting for any errors as soon as they’re identified, and regularly performing restore tests. This can quickly and easily be achieved using Veeam’s Sure Backup feature.  

A strategy like 3-2-1-1-0 offers the protection of air gapped backups with the added dependability of more rigorous monitoring and testing.