A woman at yesterday's workshop (Promotion & Use of Digital Projects) asked a question during break about digital preservation that I would like to toss out to you. Please leave comments to tell us how you have handled this situation. Thanks!
At her institution, they are creating digital assets which are being stored on the organization's servers. The IT department backs-up the servers nightly and those backups are stored in a secure location and in the correct environment. However, all backups are not kept indefinitely with backup tapes being regularly reused. In order to ensure that they have the files necessary for any migration efforts needed (or for restoring the production system), I suggested that a backup be made and stored off-site indefinitely (utilizing the services of an company that provides this type of service). In addition, I recommended that they create a new backup yearly and store that one also off-site indefinitely. My assumption is that the backup would contain both the high quality files as well as the access files and metadata (or other associated content). My other assumption is that tapes -- stored properly -- should last for extended lengths of time (10 - 30 years) and that having yearly backups would allow the organization to go back to specific snapshots in time.
My answer above is based on my years working in IT (a previous life), but it may not be what large projects are doing (or recommending) currently. Therefore, please let us know what have you put into practice? What are the holes in my logic?
Technorati tag: Digital Preservation