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In order to provide a level of service that meets the repository's contracted obligations, SP selects and implements hardware technologies based on a clear and comprehensive understanding of the needs and expectations of its Designated Community. The repository's Designated Community Definition supports 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 for more information.

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


Digital Preservation Policy Librarian

Systems Administrator

Potential Risks

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 for details.

Relevant Documents

  1. Designated Community Definition
  2. Hardware and Software Inventory
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