Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Storage is a Strategic Issue: Digital Preservation in the Cloud

Storage is a Strategic Issue: Digital Preservation in the Cloud. Gillian Oliver, Steve Knight. D-Lib Magazine. March/April 2015.
Many areas are mandating a 'cloud first' policy for information technology infrastructures. The article is a case study of the decision to outsource and its consequences. Some highlights:
  1. data held in archives must be expected to be both preserved and accessible beyond the commercial lifespan of any current technology or service provider.
  2. an approach to addressing serious risks (such as loss, destruction or corruption of data) that is based purely on financial reasons is not acceptable; it does not take into account the  preservation and custodial role of archives;
  3. there must be an explicit provision made for pre-defined exit strategies as well as effective monitoring and audit procedures
Two main challenges
  1. tensions between the information management and information technology perspectives. From the IT perspective the information managers were perceived as crossing boundaries into areas which were not of their concern.
  2. funding model. This change was a consequence of moving from the purchase of equipment for storage for use in house, to the provision of storage as a service.
"If most organisations lose a document, so long as they get the document back they're pretty happy. But because of digital preservation being what it is, you don't want to lose or corrupt any of the bits, they have to be exactly the way they were before." 
Cultural heritage institutions should investigate using storage as a service offerings, and also look ahead to utilizing other cloud based services. When making such decisions, you must be aware of the short term consequences of cost saving (i.e. increased burden on operating budgets) as set against potential long term benefits.

No comments: