Announcing the SuperNode Pilot Project
September 25, 2018
Since its inception, the MetaArchive Cooperative has been a community of practice built on a foundation of individuals and institutions collaborating to empower and enable each other to accomplish digital preservation goals. This structure of this collaboration is embedded within the implementation of the LOCKSS software, where member institutions store copies of each others content, achieving geographic distribution to protect against various types of risks and loss. Now going 12 years strong, this award-winning service has proved to be a trustworthy, durable solution for digital preservation storage and a community of support for practitioners.
At the same time a lot has changed in the digital preservation landscape over the last decade. More and more academic institutions are moving to cloud-based IT services, including for storage of digital content. Institutions can choose from multiple repository software platforms to integrate into their digital curation and preservation workflows.
While much has changed, what has lingered is who has been left out of this advancement in digital preservation progress. Small institutions, including public libraries, small museums, art galleries, community organizations, still struggle to implement basic digital preservation activities, due to limited IT support, cost of current solutions, and lack of time. Recognizing this continued need, the MetaArchive has focused its efforts on transitioning its technical network infrastructure to simplify the ingest process, making it easier for all member institutions, especially smaller organizations to start preserving their important cultural and scholarly materials.
The SuperNode Pilot Project, which kicked off in June 2018, is conducting additional testing to determine the feasibility and specific requirements for evolving the technical infrastructure. This includes testing multiple transfer tools (such as AVPreserve’s Exactly), and options for utilizing cloud-based services to “stage” content for ingest to storage nodes hosted at member institutions. A significant aspect of this work will be measuring and analyzing the costs associated with the different “flavors” or versions of a SuperNode network to support a primary driver of continuing to provide an affordable digital preservation storage solution, and if possible, even lower current membership fees.
Set to move into implementation and production in 2019, the SuperNode Pilot Project is positioning the MetaArchive community to stay true to its founding principles while adapting to the changing landscape and responding to the digital preservation needs of small organizations with limited resources.