Thursday, 4 June 2009

SNIA "Terminology Bridge" report

Quite a nice report has just been published by the Storage Networking Industry Association's Data Management Forum, called "Building a Terminology Bridge: Guidelines for Digital Information Retention and Preservation Practices in the Datacenter". I don't think I'd agree with everything I saw on a quick skim, but overall it looks like a good set of terminology definitions.

The report identifies "two huge and urgent gaps that need to be solved. First, it is clear that digital information is at risk of being lost as current practices cannot preserve it reliably for the long-term, especially in the datacenter. Second, the explosion of the amount of information and data being kept long-term make the cost and complexity of keeping digital information and periodically migrating it prohibitive." (I'm not sure that I agree with their apocalyptic cost analysis, but it certainly deserves some serious thought!)

However, while still addressing these large problems, they found that what "began as a paper focused at developing a terminology set to improve communication around the long-term preservation of digital information in the datacenter based on ILM[*]-practices, has now evolved more broadly into explaining terminology and supporting practices aimed at stimulating all information owning and managing departments in the enterprise to communicate with each other about these terms as they begin the process of implementing any governance or service management practices or projects related to retention and preservation."

It's worth a read!

(* ILM = Information Lifecycle Management, generally not related to the Curation Lifecycle, but oriented towards management of data on appropriate storage media, eg moving less-used data onto offline tapes, etc.)


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