4 4 3 Beefalo:Backup Strategy Best Practices

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Overview

A comprehensive backup strategy, along with a disaster recovery plan, is an essential part of protecting any business from data loss (e.g., disk failure, malware/ransomware attacks, human error). To be fully protected, you need an efficient data protection strategy that helps recover lost data quickly and seamlessly and ensures business continuity when all preventive measures fail. Therefore, your critical business data must be backed up regularly (on different media and off-site) and available for restore in the case of data loss.

Before you begin developing a backup strategy, consider the following:

  • Determine what is critical data (vital to continued business operation) and how often it should be backed up. Note that the frequency of backups must be tailored to your specific business needs.
  • Determine where the data is backed up: local/on-site vs. cloud/remote backup.
  • Decide how accessible backups should be to keep your business running. Understand the difference between disaster recovery and backups.

A backup strategy and disaster recovery plan constitute the all-encompassing business continuity plan that is essential to keep a business running after a hardware failure, human error, hacking, malware, etc., resume operations and recover as quickly as possible.

SEP Tip.png Tip
SEP sesam provides both, long-term retention of your multiple versions of business data (backups) and a DR solution for your business infrastructure. Talk to SEP sesam experts to help you build a business continuity plan that includes disaster recovery for your critical infrastructure or use SEP sesam Backup as a Service .

Recommended backup strategies

There are several backup strategies to protect your environment that can be easily implemented with SEP sesam. So far, the GFS backup rotation strategy, where backups rotate daily, has proven to be efficient, but backups are only stored on tapes, so GFS does not provide optimal protection against data loss.

In addition to regular backups and thoughtful scheduling, storing your data in multiple locations ensures that you always have a local copy as well as a copy stored securely in another location. By keeping backup copies both locally and off-site, you double the protection of your data in the event of a disaster.

The 3-2-1 backup strategy is an evolution of the tape-based strategy, where you only have one media copy and you need to put it to an off-site location. With SEP sesam, you can implement a 3-2-1 strategy or its variations (e.g., 3-1-2), but keep in mind that each storage solution has its drawbacks. To choose the right solution, you must develop a backup storage strategy based on your unique business requirements.

Regardless of which backup strategy you choose, consider the following to efficiently protect your data:

  • Schedule your backups to keep them up to date automatically. For details, see Scheduling.
  • Test your backups regularly.
  • Keep the storage repository for backups clear and organized.

Before implementing any strategy, make sure that your SEP sesam environment is properly configured to be able to use reliable storage and perform backups successfully. For details, see SEP sesam Configuration – First Steps.

3-2-1 backup strategy

The 3-2-1 backup strategy means that you have three copies of your data (your production data and two backup copies) on two different media (disk and tape) and one copy off-site (cloud, storage unit, etc.) for disaster recovery. All copies contain the same data from the same point in time. This method aims to quickly recover at least one copy of the data when the others fail or disappear.

3-2-1 backup strategy graphic .png

To implement the 3-2-1 strategy with SEP sesam, proceed as follows:

  1. Back up your critical data to the first media (typically a data store) following Standard Backup Procedure.
  2. Back up the data (another copy of data) to the second media (typically a tape) separate from each other, even if they are in the same geographic location. For more details on supported devices, see Managing Devices and Media.
  3. Information sign.png Note
    With SEP sesam migration, you can also set up a disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backup strategy to shorten your backup and recovery times, move older data off-site for long-term data retention, and prepare for disaster recovery. For details, see Configuring Migration.
  4. Back up the third copy of the data (or replicate it in the case of a cloud) to an off-site location, such as another office, a data center, off-site tape, a cloud (HPE Cloud Bank Storage or S3), etc. If you are copying the data to the cloud, see the SEP sesam documentation on S3 Cloud or HPE StoreOnce.

3-1-1 backup strategy and its 3-1-2 variation

In addition to the classic 3-2-1 backup strategy, you can also store one (3-1-1) or two (3-1-2) copies of your critical data in the cloud. While cloud backups provide additional data security and enable you to access the information from anywhere, you need a reliable connection to replicate SEP sesam backups to the cloud and access the data. Therefore, using a cloud as your only off-site storage is not optimal.

3-1-2 backup strategy graphic.png

You can implement the strategy as follows:

  1. Back up your critical data to disk by following Standard Backup Procedure.
  2. Replicate the copy of your data to the S3 Cloud or HPE Cloud Bank Storage.
  3. It is recommended not only to store one copy, but two copies in the cloud (3-1-2 strategy variation). In this case, replicate another copy of the data to the cloud (HPE Cloud Bank Storage or S3). If you are using the same cloud, make sure that the copies are geographically separated, but you can also use a different cloud.

3-2-2 backup strategy

Currently, the most reliable is the extended 3-2-1 backup strategy – the 3-2-2 backup strategy (and its 3-2-3 variation) provides a mix of local and cloud-based protection. By using both the cloud and a local second media type, you achieve continuity and extended data retention.

3-2-2 backup strategy graphic 01.png

Using SEP sesam, you can implement the strategy as follows:

  1. Back up your critical data to the first media (typically a data store) following Standard Backup Procedure.
  2. Back up the data (another copy of the data) to the second media (typically a tape), which is separate from each other, even if they are in the same geographic location. For more details on supported devices, see Managing Devices and Media.
  3. Replicate two copies of your data to the cloud(s). You can use S3 Cloud and/or HPE Cloud Bank Storage. If you use the same cloud for both copies, make sure that they are geographically separated.

3-2-3 strategy variation

This variation of the 3-2-2 backup strategy allows you to perform disaster recovery by using the cloud and then physically moving the data to another location. The cloud does not receive all the backup copies because they are split locally between the first and second media types.

3-2-3 backup strategy graphic 01.png

Implement the strategy as follows:

  1. Back up your critical data to the first media (typically a data store) following Standard Backup Procedure.
  2. Back up the data (another copy of the data) to the second media (typically a tape) that is separate from each other, even if they are in the same geographic location. For more details on supported devices, see Managing Devices and Media.
  3. Replicate two copies of your data to the cloud(s). You can use S3 Cloud and/or HPE Cloud Bank Storage. If you use the same cloud for both copies, make sure they are geographically separated.
  4. Migrate (copy) the data from the second media (e.g., tape) to an off-site location (not the cloud), such as another office, a data center, off-site tape, etc.

See also

Standard Backup ProcedureS3 CloudHPE StoreOnceManaging Devices and MediaAbout ReplicationRansomware Protection Best Practices