July 19, 2021

Is the 3-2-1 backup rule obsolete now that cloud backup exists?

Is the 3-2-1 backup rule obsolete now that cloud backup exists?



The last part of the rule is [exactly this purpose](https://www.acronis.com/en-us/articles/backup-rule/) – meaning that at least one copy should be offsite (in cloud)


Just make sure you do not confuse cloud backup with cloud syncing! File sync != backups. If you work in databases, you might set up a cluster, but you’re still going to do backups.

There are multiple attacks you must think about.

1. Data destruction (accidental file deletion)
2. Data corruption (ransomware)
3. Media fault (disk failure)
4. Media unavailability (power outage)
5. Account takeover (someone hacks your cloud account)

I’m sure that there are others, but these are the ones I focus on. If you are just backing everything up to Google/Microsoft/Apple, then if #1, #2, or #3 happens you’re screwed. I have personally experienced all 5 of these.

For me, I have my files on my desktop, synced to the cloud, backed up to my local server (that runs RAID 5) once per day, and then backed up using [rsync.net](https://rsync.net) with versioning.


I feel like the “2” is probably obsolete if I understand it correctly:

* At least **3** copies (1 primary + 2 backups)
* At least **2** types of storage
* At least **1** or more offsite backup

I could maybe understand not choosing two harddrives bought the same day from the same production batch or something, but going so far as specifying two different types of storage entirely seems a bit overkill, particularly when the cloud backup should already be hardware failure tolerant right?

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