Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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What do you do when your Network Manager tells you there is no more space and they mean it?
Sharon Grant, Kate Webbink, Marc Lambruschi, Mike Yoshida

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rydbergsalen
Date: 2014-10-27 04:20 PM – 04:40 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-03


What do you do when your institutional storage solution simply cannot keep up with your digitization efforts?

So, you've spent a decade convincing your fellow non-tech colleagues that they should entrust their assets to the institutions networked storage systems, rather than those degradable CD's and those consumer external hard-drives from BestBuy. "Yes it's more expensive, but it's safer here." you say, "We can expand more efficiently and you have immediate access to your files" you say. You've also convinced your Technology Department that these assets are important and they have implemented a safe and robust warehouse with state of the art backups and hardware redundancy. They've even given you staff to handle the content of "Those drives under the desk".

Meanwhile, the collections teams get efficient, REALLY efficient. They tell you "We will create 150TB of data next year." The digital asset management team become trusted and track down another 100 TB. They both ask

"Can you handle that?"

"Sure." You say...

From the floppy disk to the cloud, the drive to create digital assets that accurately represent and document the worlds natural history and cultural collections has always pushed the boundaries of storage systems. To date, decreasing memory costs have to a large extent, mitigated increased asset creation rates and the two have balanced the books. Why then, are institutions finding it harder and harder to economically store and efficiently retrieve their digital assets?

The case is argued that traditional network storage solutions in place in most natural history institutions are optimised for high availability and rapid recovery across their entire file type suite. As numbers of assets increase the systems are simply expanded to handle the increased volume. Backing up these systems effectively doubles the institutions storage commitment. Shifting the paradigm of storage, licensing, retention, retrieval, workflow and archive file-types can fundamentally ease this burden.