- The repository shall have procedures in place to evaluate when changes are needed to current hardware.


SP employs a number of experienced systems administrators and programmers to oversee its technical operations and evaluate when hardware changes are needed. In addition to their operational duties, systems personnel monitor developments in data management and storage, attend relevant conferences, and upgrade their skills through SP's professional development program (see

SP staff collaborate with personnel from the University of Toronto Libraries' Information Technology Services (ITS) department to evaluate hardware alternatives and the timing of hardware replacements or upgrades. Evaluations vary in formality according to the circumstances. The most extensive assessments take place whenever large components, such as the repository's servers or storage array network, require replacement. When necessary, systems administrators at SP and ITS consult vendors for additional information and advice. Staff evaluate potential changes for their effect on the integrity and understandability of information, the speed and interoperability of the system, and the accessibility and usability of content. Staff also take the cost of hardware and future maintenance into account.


Digital Preservation Policy Librarian

Systems Administrators

Potential Risks

There is a risk that systems personnel, who know the Designated Community, system requirements, and system behaviour intimately, will leave the organization at some point. To minimize this risk, SP uses well known hardware components and delegates critical responsibilities to several people. At the same time, SP can draw on the expertise of systems administrators at ITS and vendors for help with hardware evaluation. Please see the Risk Analysis and Management Strategies document for more information about SP's strategies for reducing the impact of personnel departures.

Future Plans

SP has procedures, commitments, and financial resources for regular hardware replacement and media refreshment. See for details.

Relevant Documents

  1. Risk Analysis and Management Strategies
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