3-2-1 backup, what other media do you use besides HDDs?

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owlig11

Member
Oct 19, 2020
7
4
As the title ask, I'm curious what media types are used for those that follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy. HDDs are the main media used by most people. SSD is still too expensive for large data sets. Tape isn't really an option for home users. Optical is not very reliable long-term (maybe M-Disc?).
 

PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
630
2
308
Ontario, Canada
Well most people have primary data on SSD's these days, so HDD would be another choice, along with cloud backups. Burned DVDs would probably be fine for 10 year backup of data that can be organized into 4GB chunks that are suitable as "store offline" (as long as it's climate controlled.)
 

Tazz

Not my real name.
Sep 18, 2020
48
17
Nova Scotia, Canada
My backups are on HDDs and OneDrive. The primary backup location is 3 6TB disks in a RAID5 setup, then synced to 2 2TB disks in RAID1. This is all in the same machine.

Then I manually sync the backups to a different machine that has 2 1TB disks running on TrueNAS in a virtual machine using the physical disk passthrough. I do it manually because the disks are only online (in disk management) while the backups are copied over. I might look into setting a script to online/offline the disks at specific times when I get tired of the manual method.

Then the backups get copied to a 1TB disk on another PC at a different location about a mile away, thanks to the new fiber op internet connection that rolled through a month or 2 ago :)
Again, the disk is only online when the files are being copied to it.

I do a full disk backup the first Sunday of every month and incremental backups every Sunday after that. The full disk backup gets uploaded to OneDrive every month. I try to keep 4 months of backups for two PCs. Any Windows updates are usually done Sunday or Monday so that I'll have a "fresh" backup to go back to if the update breaks more than it fixes.
 

JimWilliamson

Member
Nov 15, 2020
24
7
As the title ask, I'm curious what media types are used for those that follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy.
I do not follow the 3-2-1 strategy but am content with the backup routine in place.

As to your direct q (media types): 1) mechanical hard drives - online and offline are primary, 2) online backup service (likely mechanical hard drive), 3) select data onto paper via a black toner laser printer.

For those that state "OneDrive"... Are you folks using OneDrive backup or OneDrive sync? Not that an answer is needed though I do hope it's OneDrive Backup. A nit-pick of mine is "sync" and "RAID" are not "Backup". I'll be curious to comments (not that I'm really asking for them). I'll be out for a week - Maze District of Canyonlands N.P. starts tomorrow. g'night.
 

Barry Wallis

Magician in Training
For those that state "OneDrive"... Are you folks using OneDrive backup or OneDrive sync? Not that an answer is needed though I do hope it's OneDrive Backup. A nit-pick of mine is "sync" and "RAID" are not "Backup". I'll be curious to comments (not that I'm really asking for them). I'll be out for a week - Maze District of Canyonlands N.P. starts tomorrow. g'night.
I use OneDrive sync and backup. That currently allows me to recover versions going back nine months. I have exercised this as a backup several times. I run the Windows Insider version of Win10 and needed to wipe my drive and reinstall Windows from scratch (without retaining any files). Restoring from OneDrive was quick and painless since I use Files On-Demand and only the placeholders needed to be recreated with the contents being downloaded as needed.
 

Bplayer

Chris
Sep 19, 2020
13
5
My backup requirements are not particularly demanding. Laptop data synced to Desktop once a week. The Desktop is used by my spouse and would be synced to another laptop when traveling. Data from both is backed up weekly to encrypted zip file(s). These are then auto synced to OneDrive and manually burned on a DVD. The weekly backup is incremental, and every quarter a full backup is performed. No data losses/crashed experienced in the last 7 or more years, and only a rare situation where a single file need to be recovered.
There could be some loss with a complete SSD or HDD failure just before a backup was done, but our data is not mission critical and could be reconstructed.
If my laptop failed it could easily be recovered from the Desktop. If the Desktop failed it would be recovered from the last full backup and then all the incremental backups. The downsides are the time to do this, and deleted files would be restored.
 

Tazz

Not my real name.
Sep 18, 2020
48
17
Nova Scotia, Canada
Let me clarify a little, I use Macrium Reflect to make the disk backups and SyncToy to do the automatic sync in that one PC.

For those that state "OneDrive"... Are you folks using OneDrive backup or OneDrive sync?
Just plain old OneDrive, I upload the files manually from the web interface.

A nit-pick of mine is "sync" and "RAID" are not "Backup".
My thinking is that I have multiple copies of my backup files across three different sets of redundant disks.
  1. File created on RAID5 (3 disks).
  2. Files synced to RAID1 (2 disks).
  3. Files manually copied to TrueNAS Mirror on separate PC (2 disks).
  4. Files copied to a single disk at different location (1 disk).
  5. The full disk image is uploaded to OneDrive in the first few days of each month.​
My ultimate goal is to be able to grab a copy of the backup files in the event that I need to restore my PC because of my screw-up in trying to make it 'run better' or a Windows Update with additional unintended "features'. I don't care where I get the files from as long as they're there.
 

miquelfire

I like red!
Sep 26, 2020
42
4
www.miquelfire.red
I use Macrium Reflect as well to create nightly backups. I have it set to keep 14 incremental backups on my Drobo 5N2 NAS. Currently have 3 4TB and 2 3TB disks in there with "RAID 6" protection. Some issues with how Drobo does things might cause me to switch to using my Unraid box as a replacement in the long run (Drobo reports a set disk size to Windows, and currently it's like 5-6x bigger than what I actually have, and that set size is the max size I can have total on this machine anyway)

I use BackBlaze for my cloud part of the 3-2-1 backup.