Peter Krogh, who coined “the 3-2-1 rule,” on our podcast! (Restore it All Podcast #131)

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The term “3-2-1 rule” comes up on almost every episode, and we have the guy that coined it with us on the podcast! How exciting! Peter Krogh coined the term fifteen years ago. He is now Chief Product Officer at Tandem Vault, but this week he is talking to us.

He first talks about how he coined the term “3-2-1 Rule” while writing the first edition of The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers, now in it’s 3rd edition. He didn’t invent the idea of three copies and offsite backup, but he did distill it down to what we now refer to as the 3-2-1 rule. (Three copies on two media types, one of which is offsite.) We’ve played with it a bit over the years, but that is the core idea.)

He explains how digital photographers were some of the first to need significant amounts of storage — and to have the need to protect that storage so they don’t lose everything. Hard drives were too small to hold your whole collection, so what do you do?

Like a lot of folks in this space, his love for good backups goes back to a moment when he thought he lost it all. Curtis then tells his very similar story of how his company almost lost the company’s purchasing database, which also launched his career in backups. Peter then explains the incredible importance of metadata, and the huge importance it plays in the overall value of an image.

Then we get into the nitty-gritty of what the person who coined the term “3-2-1 rule” was thinking for each of the numbers. And interestingly enough, Mr. Backup had a slightly different understanding of the 2! Peter feels that the “2” refers to different media types. (This led to a very interesting discussion about how you do what he’s asking for in today’s cloud world.) One idea he talked about is that if you have two hard drives on the same network, they’re still subject to many of the same risks, which isn’t really keeping in line with the original idea of the 2.

We then talk about those that believe that RAID is backup, and follow that with a discussion about how SaaS services aren’t backing up your data – unless they specifically say they do so in your contract. Then we get into a discussion of Peter’s company, Tandem Vault, and how they have designed the next generation of Digital Asset Management and delivered it as a SaaS offering.

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