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5.1.1.1.1 - The repository shall have hardware technologies appropriate to the services it provides to its designated communities.

ExplanationSP

staff collaborate with personnel from the University of Toronto Libraries' Information Technology Services (ITS) department to assess the long-term viability of In order to provide a level of service that meets the repository's contracted obligations, SP selects and implements hardware and software. This is an ongoing and comprehensive process that uses information obtained from automated monitoring systems, manual quality controls, the repository's Designated Community, the repository's hardware and software vendors, and the enterprise IT community at large. The chief objective is to predict deterioration and obsolescence before they can impair the repository's ingest, data management, archival storage, or dissemination processes. In addition, systems administrators monitor the technology ecosystem in order to detect potential conflicts or points of failure and identify opportunities to reduce costs.

SP benefits from an active and technologically savvy Designated Community, composed of librarians, researchers, and students, who report problems in system behaviour. SP receives feedback from its Designated Community on a regular basis, and librarians at OCUL member institutions can contact SP staff directly to report problems and discuss issues. Representatives from the Designated Community sit on the repository's advisory committees, giving them an opportunity to report technology issues to SP staff.

For more information about hardware monitoring and change manangement, please see 5.1.1.1.1, technologies based on a clear and comprehensive understanding of the needs and expectations of its Designated Community Definition, who support decision-making by providing an overview of the repository's user communities.

SP staff work closely with members of the Designated Community to identify system requirements and test components. Representatives from the Designated Community sit on SP's advisory committees, giving them a direct channel to the repository's directors and systems administrators. In addition, SP receives ongoing feedback about system behaviour from its Designated Community. For example, see the Feedback Forum in SP's journals interface. Feedback from the Designated Community provides valuable information about response times, page loading, and overall system performance. Generally, the close relationship between SP and its Designated Community means that SP staff are aware of new needs and expectations at an early stage.

Systems administrators at SP and the University of Toronto Libraries' Information Technology Services department receive information about system behaviour and usage from automated monitoring programs. These programs warn administrators about events and loads that exceed predetermined levels. Please see 5.1.1.1.2, 5.1.1.1.3, and 5.1.1.1.4. For software, please see 5.1.1.1.5, 5.1.1.1.6, 5.1.1.1.7, 5.1.1.1.8. for more information.

The repository has an inventory of hardware and software to help staff carry out long-term technology planning.

Responsibility

Digital Preservation Policy Librarian

Systems Administrator

Potential Risks

The primary risks associated with technology monitoring are (1) failure to gather information from a wide variety of reliable sources and (2) failure to monitor sources in a timely manner. SP and ITS staff minimize these risks by regularly gathering information from a number of trusted sources within and without the repository (see Explanation, above).

Monitoring Commitments

SP will assess its technology monitoring practices on a regular basis, according to the Review Cycle for Documentation Policy, or whenever there are major changes to its operating environment such as hardware refreshment, significant staffing level changes, or security incidents.

Future Plans

Systems administrators will revise and update their monitoring practices as new tools and resources become available.

Relevant Documents

...

In order to comply with this point, SP must maintain a thorough understanding of the needs of its Designated Community. If SP has imperfect or inadequate information about the repository's Designated Community, then there is a risk of using inappropriate hardware. The practices described above (see Explanation) are designed to minimize this risk, but sudden, unexpected changes in user behaviour are possible.

Future Plans

SP has procedures, commitments, and financial resources for regular hardware replacement and media refreshment. See 5.1.1.1.4 for details.

Relevant Documents

  1. Designated Community Definition
  2. Hardware and Software Inventory (available on request)