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Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

Hi John:

You don't want to hear any more of my thoughts because I just know WHAT I recommend to institutional clients (managed, redundant, off-site-mirrored storage), I am not expert enough to get into any nuts and bolts. I should have probably not mentioned specific listmembers because I know there are other experts, such as yourself. What I tell my institutional clients is that THEY or someone on their staff needs to understand this stuff and find a vendor or an in-house IT guy who can do it to a level of permanence and redundancy that works for their archive. I would argue that, for an institution, it's actually much more important to understand the nuts and bolts of digital storage than to understand audio. Guys like me -- people who will do your audio transfer and do a better job than your broken-down in-house equipment and non-expert labor can achieve -- we're plentiful. But once our work is done, the institution needs to live with the pile of digital files, and hopefully store them in a manner that will make the cost of my work a one-time expense. This will become even more important a couple decades down the line when their original analog source material (or even digital source material like DATs or ADAT) becomes unplayable or playback equipment simply doesn't exist (very likely in the case of DAT, for instance).

So, to be honest, I don't have any thoughts worth sharing on OAIS compliance.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "John Spencer" <js@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 11:24 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

Well, Tom,

I'm not anyone of the folks you mention below, but we have several LTO drives scattered across the country to support our local storage networks. The supplemental migration cost of LTO tapes (skipping 2 generations) is very low and affordable for most of our clients. At some point, I'm sure we'll have another high-density storage format to use as we piggyback on the LTO roadmap until then.

I'd like to hear your thoughts more on the management of storage. Are you referring to an OAIS compliant repository, or other methods?

Jim Lindner made a pretty good case for LTO over on the AMIA list within the last couple of days, and they are dealing with video/ film scan file sizes.


John Spencer
BMS/ Chace LLC
1801 8th Ave. S.  Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37203
office (615) 385-1251
fax (615) 385-0153
cell (615) 714-1199
email: js@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

On Mar 26, 2007, at 4:48 PM, 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 Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "andy kolovos"  <akolovos@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 5:00 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT


As a short-to-medium-term storage solution--and as a part of a more comprehensive approach--multiple HDD is the best most of us can do at this point in time.

I prefer Maxtor and Western Digital drives, and I favor those that come in enclosures that offer FireWire and an on/off switch. Very vexing to have no on/off switch.

In some cases it can be more cost effective to purchase Maxtor/WD internal drives, reliable external enclosures and build them yourself. I've had good luck with the "Neptune" line of enclosures from Other World Computing (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ firewire/add-ons-and-hubs/enclosure-kits) and have heard good things about their "Mercury Elite" enclosures as well.

As others have mentioned, just like Coco Puffs are part of a complete breakfast that includes toast, juice and etc., external HDD is part of comprehensive, lower-cost storage approach that includes optical disc and linear tape.

Not all of us can swing a RAID array. Do the best you can with what you have.



Andy Kolovos
Vermont Folklife Center
3 Court Street ; P.O. Box 442
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-4964
akolovos @ vermontfolklifecenter.org

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