Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cloud Storage and Digital Preservation: New guidance from the National Archives

Cloud Storage and Digital Preservation: New guidance from the National Archives. Laura Molloy. Digital Curation Centre. 13 May, 2014.
The use of cloud storage in digital preservation is a rapidly evolving field and this guidance explores how it is developing, emerging options and good practice, together with requirements and standards that archives should consider. Digital preservation is a significant issue for almost all public archives. There is an increasing demand for storage of both born-digital archives and digitised material, and an expectation that public access to this content will continue to expand. Five detailed case studies of UK archives that have implemented cloud storage solutions

Digital preservation can be defined as: “the series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for as long as necessary, beyond the limits of media failure or technological and organisational change”. The challenges are urgent but can be taken one step at a time; you can address current technology and needs while ensuring that the content can be passed on to the next generation. With cloud storage there are many positives and negatives that must be considered. The article reviews many of these. When establishing your needs: Identify what are the ‘must have’ needs and what are the ‘wants’. Define your requirements and decide on the required capabilities rather than a specific technology, implementation, or product.
  • We should be concerned about the security of data, wherever it is stored, but it would be unrealistic to suggest that most cloud services are inherently less secure than most local data centres.
  • Adoption of a digital preservation strategy utilising cloud computing inevitably brings with it a range of legal questions.
  • Cloud storage services can achieve significant economies of scale.
  • Cloud services are typically considered to be operational rather than capital expenditure

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