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Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > Exploring New Technologies for Digital Preservation Storage

October 8, 2009 -- A goal of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program is to support collaborative efforts between the public and the private sectors. A recent example is the third Designing Storage Architectures for Digital Preservation meeting, held Sept. 22-23, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

The first meeting, held in 2006, was an opening salvo in exposing the technical storage community to the needs of the digital preservation community, and focused on the unique challenges of acquiring and managing digital collections. The success of this meeting led to continuing discussions of the impacts of current and future trends in the 2007 gathering. The 2009 meeting expanded on those efforts, bringing together more than 80 academic researchers, NDIIPP partners, Library of Congress staff and private sector technical representatives to discuss the latest developments in storage technology as they relate to the specific needs of the digital preservation community.

The meeting opened with a panel of case studies from the community, including representatives from the MetaArchive, Duracloud and Chronopolis projects, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The presenters identified data integrity, workflow, content management and technical migration as four of the key issues facing the digital preservation community over the coming years.

In a further set of presentations, storage industry vendors discussed the next generation of storage products as well as future trends in storage technology. Several noted that granting agencies are now requiring upfront data archiving plans in their grants, a development that has positive implications for digital preservation. Others observed that microchip and storage hardware designers are beginning to reach a capacity limit with current technologies, effectively ending the reign of Moore’s Law (external link), with potentially profound effects on storage budgets.

There was also a great deal of discussion over the two days on cloud computing, with several vendors noting the potentially disruptive effects of the dynamically scalable storage and infrastructure services provided by cloud computing technologies.

Further discussions touched on data integrity; movement and distribution of data; as well as myriad issues involved in the migration of formats, hardware and software from a current platform to the next generation of technology.

Martha Anderson, NDIIPP Director of Program Management, closed the meeting by noting that the Library’s strategies are informed by experience with the technical environment, and there was much heard at the meeting that will influence its thinking over the coming years.

The agenda, a background reading list, copies of all presentations and meeting notes are available.