This is the golden rule for safely backing up data: 3-2-1.  There’s a story behind the rule. But first, here’s a quick review:

  1. Keep three copies of data. 
  2. Use two different media. 
  3. Store a third copy off-site. 

Photographer Peter Krogh didn’t invent the concept, but he did coin the phrase “3-2-1” in his 2006 book, “The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers.” Krogh was an early adopter of professional digital photography. He quickly discovered a challenge that’s especially difficult for freelancers, who might be skilled photographers but who are not computer scientists. How should they store and protect the massive amounts of data in digital photos? Just as important, how can they store data so it’s easy to retrieve photos or, worst case scenario, restore damaged or lost files.

That’s how  3-2-1 was born, and Krogh’s book is in now in its third edition. (See “The DAM Book 3.0”).

You can watch Krogh in person on YouTube. We did, so we’ll share some other pithy Krogh nuggets on digital backups:

  • “Storage is a process. It’s not a thing that you can put your stuff into and leave alone.”
  • “Anything you have on only one hard drive is a thing you don’t mind losing today.”
  • “Keep it as simple as possible , while being redundant.”
  • “Every hard drive is out to get you.”

Like everything digital, “3-2-1,” has evolved since 2006, and it continues to evolve. Today there are many ways to interpret or apply the 3-2-1 rule, depending on the amount, complexity and importance of your data. Some businesses will need more than three copies of data. (“4-2-1”? “6-3-2”?) Off-site storage remains crucial, but do you need off-line, air-gapped or immutable storage? Or all three? Then there’s the inevitable alphabet soup: DAS, SAN, NAS.

To make backups as simple, robust and automatic as possible, All Net Connect has partnered with a company called Veam, They describe their backup system as “3-2-1-1-0.” It offers even greater safety and reliability for business customers. Rick Vanover of Veam explains it on You Tube.. All Net Connect techs can explain in person how Veam’s 3-2-1-1-0 can work for your business.