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A Community Driven Micro-Services Architecture Supporting Long Term Digital Preservation

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This paper describes a digital preservation platform that has been developed over a seven year period in partnership with several national memory institutions. The platform provides a viable solution to the challenges of long term digital preservation by delivering a flexible, extensible set of micro-services that are orchestrated into processes to provide capabilities around ingest, storage, data management, preservation and access. The use of micro-services allows a policy neutral approach, allowing policy decisions to be changed without the need to modify the underlying architecture. In addition it allows them to become open source, which enables and encourages a community solution to commonly faced issues.

The platform, known as the Safety Deposit Box (SDB), has been built from the ground up to be compliant with the OAIS reference model from a functional and informational standpoint. This paper describes the main architectural concepts that are employed in the platform, in particular the flexible and extensible frameworks that allow functionality to be encapsulated in user or community provided micro-services and workflows.

An emphasis will be placed on the set of services that provide tools for guarding against the challenge of file format obsolescence, which include characterization, preservation planning and preservation action. Since a micro-services approach has been adopted the system can evolve over time; new functions can be added and, existing functions can be enhanced. This is particularly important as services within the digital preservation domain are in their infancy. Format migration and emulation have been adopted as the primary long-term preservation mechanisms and an approach to validating such pathways is described.

The use of micro services allows existing best-of-breed tools to be incorporated into the solution.. It has been configured to incorporate the DROID and JHOVE tools as well as other commonly-used open-source and commercially provided characterization and migration tools.

The paper includes a description of a community driven approach which includes the sharing of collective knowledge and experience the encouragement for the exchange of micro service and workflow, and the ability for the community to significantly influence the future road map of functionality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • The IS&T (digital) Archiving Conference offers a unique opportunity for imaging scientists and those working in the cultural heritage community (curators, archivists, librarians, photographers etc) from around the world to come together to discuss the most pressing issues related to the digital preservation and stewardship of hardcopy, and other cultural heritage documents and objects. Authors come from museums, archives, libraries, government institutions, industry and academia. Cutting edge topics related to multispectral and 3D imaging, as well as best practices for workflow, sharing, standards, and asset/collection management and dissemination are explored in papers presented at this annual, international event.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in pertuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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