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How to Create an Effective Data Backup Strategy

Data loss can be a nightmare, no matter how big or small your company is. However, an effective data backup strategy can save you countless hours in the recovery process. Generally, the “3-2-1” backup strategy is recommended to avoid data loss. A 3-2-1 strategy entails storing your data in three places, on two different types of storage, with one copy located off-site. But what goes into creating an effective data backup strategy?

Evaluate Your Data Backup Strategy Needs

First, take stock of what your company needs from a backup.

How much are you looking to spend on your backup solution?

What sort of data risks are your company likely to encounter?

Do you worry more about a hacking breach or your data center being hit by a hurricane?

Determine what data you deem crucial to your company, such as financial records or large databases. Also, don’t forget to consider who will be responsible for the backups, whether an outside vendor or internal team.

Two terms to know during this process are recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).

  • Recovery point objective refers to the age of the files on your backup. Assess how often you want to create backups and how this will affect your data recovery.
  • Recovery time objective refers to how long it will take to restore your data after it is lost. Your RTO will be affected by your backup solution. If your backup is on a hard drive 200 miles away, it will take time to transport that hard drive where it needs to be.

Data Backup Strategy Solutions

Once your company has a sense of its needs, it’s time to look at the backup options available to you:


A hardware backup could be an external hard drive or other hardware solution attached to your network. Hardware is often at the same location as the network it is backing up. While this can be your local backup option, be sure to have a secondary off-site option to avoid having the only backup destroyed in the event of a disaster.


Today there are many software backup options available on the market. Software solutions are often installed right on your own system.  Software backup options are often more cost-effective than hardware solutions.


Cloud based backup solutions are becoming more and more common. Available through many different vendors, your backups will exist on their cloud infrastructure.

However, your backups will be reliant on having an internet connection. For companies dealing with especially confidential data, consider the risk of placing sensitive information in the cloud.

When it comes to backups, the importance of redundancy cannot be overstated.

Many companies now look to “hybrid” options that combine two or more of the above-mentioned solutions. The success of your company depends on the safety of your data. By taking the time to develop and implement an effective data backup strategy, you are ensuring your company’s future.

Contact us today to learn more about creating a data backup strategy.

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