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Re: [ARSCLIST] Hard disk drives and DAT

Well, Richard, my answer was in my earlier post - "migrate, migrate, migrate". I don't subscribe to 100-year life expectancies any more once files are digital.

See below for direct replies to your scenarios. Others, please hit the delete key now.


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

On Mar 28, 2007, at 6:33 PM, Richard L. Hess wrote:

At 05:24 PM 2007-03-28, John Spencer wrote:

My initial intent for responding to the post was simply to point out
there are other options for underfunded archival projects. HDDs and
CD-Rs are not the only cost-effective solutions, but I sense my
thinking is in the minority....

Perhaps, John, I am confused about what cost-effective solutions you are suggesting. Could we step back a bit and clearly see the offerings that you and others are suggesting? I am open to a wide variety of cost-effective solutions. However, in the cost-effective solution that you propose, I would like to see the basic framework for the 100-year life briefly outlined. For example, I will do this for three options:

(1) Institutional repository (IR): This is stored on enterprise- class SAN systems with LTO tape backup (or equal). There is management in place to shepherd the frequent technology-driven migrations to different architectures and storage media as the IT industry climate changes. There is a mandate to develop and maintain this IR at the highest level of the institution. The "client" base for the IR is broad enough that is is not serving one or two departments, but rather integrated across the entire structure of the institution.
Great. Who is paying for it? Certainly not small archives on their own.

Additionally, we find that sometimes IT Departments of institutions are much more burdened with the daily tasks of keeping the network safe and secure, so this may require an additional layer of staffing and hardware, etc.

(2) NAS Appliances: NAS Appliances (as required by NARAS) with LTO tape backup. When these devices and tapes are delivered, then who, long term will manage them? These devices/media also require migration. The NAS appliance can be hooked to an institutional LAN and the LTO tapes can be added to the institutional media library. This requires both OS synchronization for the NAS appliance (at least to some degree, especially if a rights structure is in use) and a typically read minus two, write minus one generation scenario for migration for the tape. In fact, long-term active management of this option is simplified by the IR model as the data is treated more homogenously. Of course, the bigger the basket, the more eggs that are broken with the fall.
NAS appliances are not mentioned at all in the current version of the NARAS Deliverables doc, if that is the one you are referring to (version .44, soon to be on the Grammy site).

Again, before we throw out the vast infrastructure needed to store 2-4TB of data, let's not get out of hand - it's not as though you have to add staff to manage that pretty easily.

(3) CDs/DVDs: These need to be sampled every year or two and monitored and migrated. When Blu-Ray or similar is a viable technology then a migration may happen. When UltaViolet-Ray discs become common, then another migration needs to occur. Generations can be skipped more easily in these more-consumer-ish formats than in the IT pro formats in (1) and (2) as long as functional readers for the older, bulkier media are readily available. There is a chance that gold CD-Rs, coupled with the availability of garage- sale CD players MAY (stress MAY) just make the 100 years on their own. I do not see that for any other without active management.
I think you will find that many of the proposed (and shipping) consumer formats (Blu-Ray/ HD-DVD/ Combo) to have a much shorter life span than CD ever had. DVDs certainly haven't had that many years of market domination, and if/ when other optical formats become more abundant - will there be other options for delivery and storage of content?

I never liked the fact there were numerous DVD products out there that did not conform to the DVD patent-holders consortium.

None of these scenarios (except PERHAPS the gold CD-R) is immune from funding interruptions.
I won't touch this!



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.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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