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NAS 152

Introducing 3-2-1-Compliant Backups

Learn how to implement 3-2-1-compliant backups here!



Upon completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Learn about 3-2-1 backups
  2. How to implement a 3-2-1-compliant backup


Course Prerequisites:


Students are expected to have a working knowledge of:




1.Backing Up

1.1The Importance of Backups

1.2Misconceptions when Backing Up

2. Understanding 3-2-1

3.ASUSTOR NAS – The Center of Your 3-2-1 Backups

3.1Why use an ASUSTOR NAS device in a 3-2-1-compliant backup

3.2Using your ASUSTOR NAS to Perform 3-2-1 Backups




1. Backing Up


1.1 The Importance of Backups

Data storage is unique amongst tech products. Unlike with the purchase of other tech, storage products contain an irreplaceable component, the data. It doesn’t matter whether it comes from hardware failures, disasters or malware, data loss is data loss. These events may be unpredictable. Without backups, data cannot be truly safe. To achieve effective data security, you need to follow at least the 3-2-1 backup principle.


1.2 Misconceptions when Backing Up

  • Misconception 1: Moving files = Backup

Some think that transferring files to a NAS or other device while deleting the original files is a backup. Because there is only one copy of the file, it cannot be restored if it is lost.

  • Misconception 2: Protective measures like RAID or snapshots on NAS = Backup

Many people consider RAID arrays to be a type of backup. A RAID array is not actually a backup, but a fault-tolerant mechanism that provides protection against drive failure. Snapshots help protect against unintentional modifications, but do not make copies of your data on a separate device.

  • Misconception 3: Backing up means you can rest easy

After completing a 3-2-1-compliant backup, it does not mean that the entire backup plan is perfect. Your minimum-three copies should address the risks of the others. Also, test your backups to ensure they can be restored. 3-2-1 is a minimum standard, more copies of your data on different storage media can reduce risks further. There is no such thing as 100% efficacy. There is only risk reduction.



2 Understanding 3-2-1

A good backup plan needs to address as many practical risks to your data as possible. The 3-2-1 Backup Principle is currently recognized as the minimum standard for safe backups. To be compliant with its rules, you need to achieve:

- At least three copies of data – To protect from most practical risks.

- On two different types of storage media – Each type of storage medium comes with their own set of risks. Use different types to cover the different types of risks that may come with each storage type.

- At least 1 off-site backup - Reduces the risks of the location. Fires, floods, robberies and other natural disasters are some common risks to data in the same location. 

※ Learn More: 3-2-1 Backup Practices


3 ASUSTOR NAS – The Center of Your 3-2-1 Backups

3.1 Why use an ASUSTOR NAS device in a 3-2-1-compliant backup

  • It’s convenient: Your ASUSTOR NAS has a variety of ways for you to access it to start your backups. ASUSTOR provides a number of backup apps for both desktop and mobile devices as well as supports a number of protocols to increase compatibility with many device types. ASUSTOR NAS devices also come with USB ports to ensure easy-access to external storage. All these ways enable backups to and from a wide variety of devices.  
  • It makes local backups easy: Use your ASUSTOR NAS to make easy local backups through a variety of ways. ASUSTOR NAS devices support one-touch backups for external drives, MyArchive hot-swappable drives are a great option while backups to another ASUSTOR NAS through FTP, Rsync and EZ Sync are also an option. ASUSTOR supports backups on Windows through ASUSTOR Backup Plan while Time Machine on macOS provides an easy way to back up your Mac.
  • It provides easier offsite backups: ASUSTOR supports a variety of cloud services inside DataSync Center and Cloud Backup Center. Set schedules to upload files from your NAS to a public cloud to make it easy or make manual backups whenever the need arises. Offsite backups can also be done with another ASUSTOR NAS in a different location using Rsync, FTP, EZ Sync and WebDAV. These protocols can be used over the Internet. MyArchive and external drives can be physically taken to another location as part of an offsite backup as well.


※ All about ASUSTOR apps: Comprehensive Mobile Apps

※ Learn more about Backup & Restore

※ Learn more about cloud backups:

NAS 250 - Introducing DataSync CenterNAS 254 - Introducing Cloud Backup Center


3.2 Using your ASUSTOR NAS to Perform 3-2-1 Backups

The steps to implement 3-2-1 Backup Principles with ASUSTOR NAS are as follows:

  • Step 1: Decide on a location of your main copy of data.
  • Step 2: Create a local backup.
  • Step 3: Use your ASUSTOR NAS to create an offsite backup from one of the ways listed above.

※ Learn More: Step 1 - Creating a Local Backup

※ Learn More: Creating an Offsite Backup


Examples of 3-2-1-compliant backups. This is not an exhaustive list.

Example 1

3 copies of data: Original copy on PC + ASUSTOR NAS backup data + Cloud copy

2 different storage media: Original copy on PC + ASUSTOR NAS backup data 

1 offsite backup: Cloud copy


Example 2

3 copies of data: Original copy on ASUSTOR NAS + External hard drive + Cloud copy

2 different storage media: ASUSTOR NAS backup file + External hard drive

1 offsite backup: Cloud copy


Example 3

3 copies of data: Original copy on Mac + Time Machine copy on ASUSTOR NAS + MyArchive drive stored in alternate location

2 different storage media: Original copy on Mac + Time Machine copy on ASUSTOR NAS

1 offsite backup: MyArchive drive in alternate location


Learn more: 3-2-1 - Best Practices





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