• 20 October 2010

Digital Preservation of Archived Media Assets

Digital Preservation of Archived Media Assets

Digital Preservation of Archived Media Assets 150 150 Object Matrix

One of the many benefits of The MatrixStore, being an object-based storage solution, is that it can be utilised as a Digital Preservation System for long term archiving of digital media assets. This allows file-based assets to be securely stored and archived almost in perpetuity by being future-proofed against evolving technological advancements.

While many media companies wonder how they are going to migrate their large tape archives based on Beta, VHS and early LTO iterations, the MatrixStore allows organisations not to be locked into a specific hardware vendor or hardware technology. This allows them to take advantage of evolving and more cost-effective technologies as they become available. It prevents them from having to go through the pain of a costly migration exercise especially when the hardware to read old media has often become very hard to support.

As well as hardware, applications also come and go and that includes asset management systems for searching and easily finding assets. Any platform that can be searchable independently of the original application that wrote it ensures that the archive can be carried through application and operating system obsolescence.

As the custodian of the company’s archive, the MatrixStore offers the following digital preservation functionality:

  • It can utilise evolving and innovative hardware from different vendors over time. These can be mixed and matched and virtualised as one storage pool.
  • Open interfaces to read and write content with no change or modification to the stored content.
  • As with any archive strategy, an exit strategy needs to be considered from the start if the product is discontinued – the open nature of The MatrixStore mitigates that risk.
  • A system that fully authenticates files at ingest and continues to ensure authentication over the life of the asset.
  • As Robin Harris describes in his Storagemojo, a system that can automatically migrate in-place to new storage nodes automatically, or as a single click, with no downtime or loss of availability of data, is required for systems to scale.
  • A system that when hardware dies unexpectedly, no data is lost. This can be used to “sweat” more life out of older assets without the risk of losing files.
  • Full storage management functionality that can be implemented by non-IT people. This includes adding retention periods to assets allowing the administrator to know when it’s safe to delete assets or conversely to prevent accidental or malicious deletion.
  • A system that can be fully replicated to a second site for business continuity or disaster recovery reasons.

The point of a digital preservation system is to keep data safe and available. When comparing different solutions one needs to ensure that the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of any archive system does not result in a very expensive data migration requirement further down the line with a potential loss of assets. This can be very true of tape-based systems.

The functionality stated for MatrixStore as a preservation platform is in addition and complementary to its other core features. These features include being a performant, secure, easy to use, searchable, cost-effective and fully supported nearline and archiving platform.