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Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

Thanks everyone for your very helpful replies. 

I am planning on recommending redundancy and a file management strategy
of some sort- I realize that aspect can't be emphasized enough!

Are there any standards for hours of use before a hard drive is "swapped
out?" Do any of you have policy set up at your archive in this regard?

Finally, can anyone recommend an LTO vendor, in New York City or nearby?
I'd also be interested to hear about quality control with LTO. Any
thoughts or experiences from archives that use LTO backup without a
drive present for playback? We will not be able to afford an LTO tape
drive (at least at the prices I'm seeing).

Thanks again.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <arclists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Monday, March 26, 2007 10:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

> At 05:48 PM 2007-03-26, Tom Fine wrote:
> >I hope Richard and/or Parker and/or Spec Bros. jump in here. The 
> >ONLY answer is managed and constantly migrated storage. You simply 
> >cannot live by the old "put it on a shelf in a clean, cool room" 
> >idea anymore. Digital storage must be in constant motion -- 
> >literally since hard drives have been known to fail or never start 
> >up again if left idle on a shelf (ask around Hollywood, everyone 
> has 
> >a horror story or two). You have to plan to have a "living" hard 
> >drive array that is redundant, preferably with a constantly 
> mirrored 
> >clone at a different location, and plan on swapping out drives 
> every 
> >XX hours of use or at worst when they inevitably fail. There are 
> >firms that do this on an out-source basis, I think. I believe the 
> >90's dot-bomb term was "storage farms." Some of them are actually 
> >located in old bomb shelters and missle bunkers.
> Tom, I don't know why you'd want Parker, Peter, or me to jump in 
> here. You stated it excellently yourself.
> While I don't think we need a mass storage system for someone's 
> wedding tape -- that will work nicely with several gold CD copies 
> (LOCKSS - LotsOfCopiesKeepStuffSafe), much above that you really do 
> need managed storage.
> The good news is that many Universities and other organizations are 
> implementing such storage systems and if you wish to make your 
> material publicly available, especially, you can find sites willing 
> to host your material in perpetuity for a relatively small fee.
> The metadata and search capabilities of some of these systems -- 
> and 
> being an organized repository the ability of it to be included in 
> federated searches -- is excellent. There are fewer options if you 
> want to squirrel your data away someplace and keep it hidden. But 
> that is another discussion.
> There has been a rather heated discussion over on AMIA-L about the 
> shelf-storage model of HDDs which Jim Wheeler is promoting. I think 
> it has flaws -- especially when you consider a movie is in the 
> neighbourhood of 5TB or more.
> LTO is becoming one of the few options with a future. I think one 
> of 
> the other tape formats is at end of life now. I'm not sure which 
> one. 
> S-AIT has not been getting much traction. LTO (LinearTapeOpen) is 
> gathering supporters. The neat thing is that it is OPEN, as in NOT 
> proprietary.
> As all manner of data multiplies and remultiplies, we will continue 
> to see more attractive storage options, but bringing the data into 
> a 
> digital repository is a good method for the future.
> Here is a community that I have nothing to do with at Univ of 
> Toronto's T-Space, but I've been studying this as a model for my 
> project that will hopefully drop into T-Space in a year or so.
> https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/3004
> The "Community" that I am working on will be at this level in the 
> system. Note that there are persistent handles for all the items. 
> Each item can contain multiple files. That's the D-Space model.
> T-Space (U of T's implementation of the D-Space system from MIT and 
> HP) includes checksums and the hardware is IBM with the Tivoli 
> Storage Manager and LTO tape underneath.
> One neat thing I just negotiated is that I will make MD5 hashes of 
> my 
> files and then when they get in T-Space, I will get the MD-5 hashes 
> generated automatically within T-Space back and I'll run a 
> comparison 
> between the T-Space MD-5 hashes and my originals. That way, I can 
> be 
> sure that (a) all files got onto T-Space and (b) There is no 
> corruption of any files.
> While D-Space is one model, ContentDM is another which I don't know 
> anything substantial about. There are others. The nice thing about 
> D-Space is there is a link between my client and Univ of Toronto so 
> they have access to place their oral history archive at something 
> that is part of the U of T library.
> Cheers,
> Richard
> Richard L. Hess                   email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information: 
> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htmQuality tape transfers --
> even from hard-to-play tapes. 

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