Tuesday, August 14, 2007

100 Year Archive report

There's an article in InfoWorld Tech Watch -- "Entering the Digital Dark Ages?" -- that notes that we have entered "an era of unprecedented information gathering likely to leave no lasting impression on the future, thanks in large part to a cross-departmental lack of understanding of the business requirements for data archiving" according to a recent study conducted by the Storage Networking Industry Association's 100 Year Archive Task Force.

The article is brief and points out a few key issues, such as data archiving not being considered a valuable business service, which is ironic when some industries have record retention standards with time frames of 50 or 100 years.

While the report was anchored by an organization representing the physical storage business, there was a lot of participation from the records management and archival communities. This work is based on a survey to identify the requirements for "long-term" storage and retention. The survey results and quite a few respondent comments are included in the report. The next steps for the group include production of a reference model similar to OAIS or the Sedona Guidelines covering the storage domain of long-term retention, creation of a "Self-Describing, Self-Contained Data Format" (SD-SCDF) for use as an archival information package in a trusted digital repository, and extending the definition and use of the XAM (eXtensible Access Method) standard that SNIA is already working on.

The report, which was issued in January 2007, is one to read. Register at the Task Force site and you can download it as a PDF.

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