Do I have enough data for a digital archive?
Have you been thinking about migrating data or transferring digitised assets to a digital archive but aren’t sure if you have enough assets to warrant investing in one in the first place?
Well, good news. In this post I will briefly outline why it doesn’t matter how many assets you require archiving to begin with. You can benefit from a digital archiving and preservation solution no matter the how much data you have – and below is how.
There’s more to it than storage capacity
Whilst the above element of an archival solution is essential, I want to point out an even more crucial point.
It doesn’t matter how much storage you require, what matters is that if your data is important enough to retain, that you retain it in a solution that ensures it will remain readable, accessible and reusable for the future.
If you (potentially) will need to access your data in the future – whether for inspection or re-use – then you must ensure you’re storing and maintaining it in an appropriate solution.
Our solution is designed to manage large volumes of data but it provides the same benefits and works equally well with small volumes, whilst ensuring its future re-usability for decades into the future. We’ll look to cover this is a little more detail now.
From a few GBs to many TBs (…or small to large)
You can start small…and increase…and decrease.
Your digital archive can start out with only a few GBs and grow as your needs expand – even up to the TB range. If this is the case, it’s essential you select a provider whose solution can scale in-line with your requirements.
In our view, scalability is a vital characteristic of a digital archive so this should be one of the first elements you seek.
Why is scalability important?
No one can be certain of the amount of data they’ll need to archive in the long-term, as organisational priorities change, new technologies are adopted or if legal archiving requirements change.
So, whilst it’s essential to have a system that you can add data to on an ongoing basis (without costs getting out of hand), it’s also imperative that you can reduce the storage allowance you’re paying for.
It’s important to maintain a healthy approach to long-term data management and not retaining assets that are no longer required. If you’re unsure about what records to keep, a very simple way to start is just by asking yourself – ‘why do I need to keep this data?’. We covered this approach to sustainable long-term data management in another blog post here, if you’re interested.
Additionally, seeking and opting for a solution that can expand means that you won’t reach a point in the future where you need to select another solution and go through the process of transferring your assets again – an often costly, risky and time-consuming process.
Our work on the ARCHIVER project over the last 2 years has enabled us to enhance and improve the scalability of our solution. Our customers can now ingest and retain more data than ever before.
Is it time to archive?
Hopefully I’ve relayed in a simple way why you shouldn’t be put off by concerns about the size or value of research projects or datasets. The longer you leave it, the more of a burden it will become – or the higher the likelihood of assets becoming lost or corrupt – so it’s best to start early.
The sooner you start archiving the sooner your team and organisation can guarantee long-term access and use, through processes such as:
- Creation of preservation copies to guarantee long-term use
- Metadata attribution to enable an easily searchable and accessible asset database
- Safeguarding measures to prevent file loss or corruption
- Maintaining data integrity through automated checks
Therefore, regardless of the amount of data you require the archiving and preservation of, starting now will provide you with the peace of mind that your assets are safeguarded, accessible and reusable for however long they are archived.
If you’d like further information or a demo of our solution, please contact our team.
02 Mar, 2022
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