Friday, December 14, 2012

LTO-6 tape with up to 6.25TB capacity ships.

LTO-6 tape with up to 6.25TB capacity ships. Lucas Mearian. Computerworld. November 26, 2012.
Tape media and drive companies have begun shipping the sixth generation of linear-tape open (LTO) technology, which like previous generation upgrades, significantly increases the capacity and data throughput capabilities for backup and archive applications.

LTO-6 cartridges can hold up to 2.5TB natively or 6.25TB of compressed data. Compared with previous generation LTO-5 drives and cartridges, the new LTO-6 cartridges more than double capacity (with compression) and offer a 40% performance boost. LTO-5 held up to 1.5TB natively and 3TB of compressed data. The LTO-5 drives had a native data transfer rate of 200MBps or up to 1TB per hour with 2:1 compression. LTO-6 tapes also include encryption and WORM (write-once, read many) capabilities that were also offered with the past two generations of LTO tape drives and media.

LTO-6 drives will provide backward compatibility with the ability to read and write LTO-5 cartridges and read LTO-4 generation cartridges.

128TB tape cartridges key to kilometer-size telescope

128TBtape cartridges key to kilometer-size telescope. Computerworld. Lucas Mearian. December 6, 2012.
In one day, the telescope's dishes will generate 10 times the network traffic produced at the same time on the global Internet. They will feed about 10 petabits of data (1 billion gigabits) per second into a central computer that will have the processing power of about 100 million of today's PCs.  The project plans to generate 1 million GB of data per day and store 300 to 1,500 petabytes (1.5 exabytes) of data per year. IBM is responsible for the data storage and they plan to use tape. "The tape will be used as a deep archive." Construction is expected to start in 2016 and take four years. The exascale supercomputer is expected to be completed by 2024.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Identifying Threats to Successful Digital Preservation: the SPOT Model for Risk Assessment

Identifying Threats to Successful Digital Preservation: the SPOT Model for Risk Assessment. Sally Vermaaten, Brian Lavoie, Priscilla Caplan.  D-Lib Magazine. September/October 2012.

A successful digital preservation strategy accounts for and lessens the impact of various threats to the digital materials over time. Typologies of threats are practical tools that can aid in the development of preservation strategies. This paper proposes the Simple Property-Oriented Threat (SPOT) Model for Risk Assessment. It defines six essential properties of successful digital preservation.
  1. Available for long-term use.
  2. Identity allows an object to be discovered and retrieved.
  3.  Persistence means objects are intact and can be read from the storage media.
  4. Renderability is that the object can be used and retain the significant characteristics. 
  5. Understandable by its intended users.
  6. Authenticity in that it is what it purports to be.
This model is intended to provide a framework to carry out a risk assessment on the repository contents. Use of the model can help repositories identify previously unaddressed threats, perform ongoing monitoring of key threats, and demonstrate that a repository complies with accepted standards by appropriately managing risks.

Digital preservation threats can be divided into two categories:
  1. threats to archived digital content, and 
  2. threats to the custodial organization itself.
 The SPOT Model is intended to be a practical tool for repository managers to help identify the sources of risk and develop strategies to mitigate these risks over time. It can be a checklist for identifying threats.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Data Conservancy Instance: Infrastructure and Organizational Services for Research Data Curation

The Data Conservancy Instance: Infrastructure and Organizational Services for Research Data Curation. Matthew S. Mayernik, et al. D-Lib Magazine. September/October 2012.
Digital research data can only be managed and preserved over time through a sustained institutional commitment. Digital research data, if curated and made broadly available, promise to enable researchers to ask new kinds of questions and use new kinds of analytical methods in the study of critical scientific and societal issues. 

The Data Conservancy, a community organized around data curation research, technology development, and community building, is driven by a common theme: the need for institutional solutions to digital research data collection, curation and preservation challenges.
The four main activities of the Data Conservancy are:
  1. A focused research program to examine research practices across multiple disciplines in order to understand the data curation tools and services needed to support interdisciplinary research
  2. An infrastructure development program for data management and curation services
  3. Data curation educational and professional development programs 
  4. Development of sustainability models for long term data curation.
Data curation solutions for research institutions must address both technical and organizational challenges. These include context, hardware and software infrastructure, services, and sustainable strategy.

The features needed include a preservation-ready system, customizable user interfaces, flexible data model, ingest and search interface,  and data examination processes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Big Picture: Preserving Audio & Video Digital Media.

The DuraSpace site has a series of webinars dealing with preserving audio and video files.  The above link is to the overview of the webinars. To watch the webinars, use the links below.

1.        The Big Picture: Preserving Audio and Video Digital Media. Webinar. DuraSpace.  May 16, 2012.
Analog migration choices and digital migration formats; storage and retrieval, codecs, techniques for data reduction and compression, media containers.

Storage solutions, advantages and disadvantages; tools; PBCore; Wowza with Flowplater; costs and limitations; creating an open source solution.

3.       Describing Audio and Video Digital Media with Metadata. Kara Van Malssen, Chris Beer.  June 13, 2012.
Need provenance and technical metadata; broadcast wave format; embed metadata in files; know the source; understand what you have.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Opinion: Why the Bruce Willis Apple iTunes story matters

Opinion: Why the Bruce Willis Apple iTunes story matters. Jonny Evans. Computerworld. September 04, 2012.
Article discussing a possible lawsuit against Apple in order to regain the right to bequeath iTunes music collection. "The music industry isn’t really about music: it’s about formats and distribution. First there was ... sheet music, then 78rpm records, then 45rpm vinyl, Super8, cassette, CD -- and now digital. The only difference between each evolving format is that the industry willfully ignored digital until it was too late for it to completely control music acquired in those formats.
That’s why label bosses (who like to pay artists a mere 10-13 percent of the profits of music releases) stress artist “rights” while insisting on ever more draconian monitoring of the online world in order to ensure distribution of tracks they acquire rights to is controlled."
"If the music industry were about music then every track ever licensed by labels would be made available via all digital services."
The only reason for a label refusing to allow music to be left to friends or family is to "ensure that when the next evolution of music distribution takes place it can ensure we all invest in the same music in a different format." The industry wants to keep an even bigger slice of the overall income while making users pay regular recurring subscription fees to access music that is never actually owned, or in other words, making a system of lifetime rentals.  While there is not yet a lawsuit, it does draw attention to a consumer right that’s been quietly obliterated in the digital age: the chance to actually own the collection of digital music.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Swatting the Long Tail of Digital Media:A Call for Collaboration.

Swatting the Long Tail of Digital Media:A Call for Collaboration. Ricky Erway. OCLC Research.
September 2012. 
 Archiving born digital content stored on a wide range of physical media types requires specialized
knowledge, expertise, and equipment to read and preserve the content on physical media, ranging from punched cards to flash drives. In general, transferring content from a particular physical medium requires a compatible computer that can read the data in the format that is stored on the medium, but also other hardware and software components, such as cables and drivers. A community-based approach could establish software and workstations for antiquated technology (SWAT ) sites where a few institutions acquire and maintain the technology and expertise to read data and transfer content from particular types of obsolete media. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting the whole picture: Finding a common language between digital preservation and conservation

Getting the whole picture: Finding a common language between digital preservation andconservation. Douglas Elford, et al. 7th AICCM Book, Photographs, and Paper Symposium. August 29-31, 2012. [PDF]
  • In spite of the intangible and at times ephemeral nature of digital collections, the fundamental purpose driving both digital preservation and conservation are conceptually quite similar.
  • collection policies that suit digital content in the networked environment are, for the most part, yet to be put into practice.
  • While some new approaches to collecting digital materials in a proactive manner (including more frequently and via semi-automated mechanisms) are required, it is imperative that the field of digital preservation also borrows from long-established collection and conservation processes and practices that have been refined over decades by preservation professionals
  • Acquiring, managing, preserving and providing access to digital culture is a challenge that is faced by all cultural and heritage organisations worldwide  digital preservation is driven by the ongoing long-term access of a digitised item or born-digital collection, whereas preservation strategies for tangible collections are determined by the immediate needs of the item to ensure its stability and longevity, though digital preservation practices could learn and borrow from conservation processes.
  • Websites are also inherently time sensitive and ephemeral in nature
  • Authenticity of collection items is an influential factor in conservation work. Determining the authenticity of digital objects is equally as important. Considerable effort should be undertaken to ensure that the integrity and authenticity of an item are maintained. 
  • Preservation strategies should enhance rather than compromise access to collections. This is also applicable in the digital realm. Before access to digital content can be provided to users, active management and ongoing preservation of digital content is necessary.
  • A successful digital preservation policy would also address the preservation needs of digital items created by an institution itself, such as photographs from digitisation programs.
  • National Library of Australia uses the Prometheus workflow system, and have developed Mediapedia, an online knowledge-base resource for identifying physical and digital carriers and their associated dependencies.
  • Active digital preservation is yet to become mainstream practice in many cultural organisations


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Demystifying Born Digital.

Demystifying Born Digital. Jackie Dooley, Ricky Erway. OCLC Research Library Partnership. 23 August 2012. 

This is a report on a project that enhances the effective management of born-digital materials as they intersect with special collections and archives practices in research libraries. The goal of this activity is to discuss the skills and expertise of archivists and librarians in the born-digital context, show the relevance of those skills, provide a basic roadmap to implement management of born-digital archival materials, and encourage research libraries launch a born-digital management program that can be scaled up over time. The management of born-digital materials in academic and research libraries remains in its infancy.