Title (eng)

Access and Preservation in the Cloud: Lessons from Operating Preservica Cloud Edition: Paper - iPRES 2014 - Melbourne


Kevin O’Farrelly

Robert Sharpe

Maïté Braud

James Carr

Alan Gairey


The archival community has recently been offered a series of cloud solutions providing various forms of digital preservation. However, Perservica is unique in providing not just bit-level preservation but the full gamut of digital preservation services that, up until recently, were available only to organizations using a system installed on-site following on from a complex, and potentially risky, software development project. This “new paradigm” thus offers a zero capital cost “pay as you go” model to perform not just bit-level preservation but also “active preservation”. This short paper will describe the practical difficulties of providing and operating such a comprehensive
service in the cloud.

A cloud system’s advantage is to reduce the need for capital costs (since hardware and software are rented not bought up front) and system maintenance (since this is provided by the system’s provider). To reduce costs further a system can share multiple organizations’ content on a single operational instance. However, this instance must maintain each such tenant organization’s isolation (i.e. one organization’s content must not be exposed to any others). In addition each tenancy must be able to control its own processes without being able to compromise those of other tenants. This leads to the need for some degree of tenancy administration (without placing on each tenant a large burden of administration that is best handled at the system level).

The need to move bulk content across the internet as part of ingest cannot be avoided but the remaining ingest functionality can be performed either prior to upload (through a downloadable client-side tool) or server-side (through comprehensive workflows). Some ingest streams (e.g., web crawling) in fact can be considerably eased by using the cloud since an organization’s local internet bandwidth is no longer relevant.

Other OAIS functional entities (preservation planning, data management, administration and storage) can all be performed without the need to move content across the internet. Access can be provided in a variety of forms including those suitable for archivists and those suitable for the general public. It is also possible to render content server-side to minimize the need for download.

Importantly, it is also possible to export an organization’s entire content thereby providing a suitable “end of life” route to move to a different digital preservation system.

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iPRES 2014, OAIS, Bit-level Preservation, Logical Preservation, Active Preservation, Cloud

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o:378735 iPRES 2014 - Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects