Tools and Services for Long-Term Preservation of Digital Archives

TitleTools and Services for Long-Term Preservation of Digital Archives
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJaJa JF, Smorul M, Song S
Conference NameIndo-US Workshop on International Trends in Digital Preservation
Date Published2009///

We have been working on a technology model to support thepreservation and reliable access of long term digital archives. The
model is built around a layered object architecture involving
modular, extensible components that can gracefully adapt to the
evolving technology, standards, and protocols. This has led to the
development of methodologies, tools and services to handle a
number of core requirements of long term digital archives.
Specifically, we have built flexible tools for implementing general
ingestion workflows, active monitoring and auditing of the
archive’s collections to ensure their long-term availability and
integrity, storage organization and indexing to optimize access.
These tools are platform and architecture independent, and have
been tested using a wide variety of collections on heterogeneous
computing platforms. In this paper, we will primarily focus on
describing the underpinnings of our software called ACE
(Auditing Control Environment), and report on its performance on
a large scale distributed environment called Chronopolis. Built on
top of rigorous cryptographic techniques, ACE provides a policy-
driven, scalable environment to monitor and audit the archive’s
contents in a cost effective way. In addition, we will briefly
introduce some our recent efforts to deal with storage
organization and access of web archives.
Long term preservation is a process that must begin before an
object is ingested into the archive and must remain active
throughout the lifetime of the archive. The ACE tool provides a
very flexible environment to actively monitor and audit the
contents of a digital archive throughout its lifetime, so as to
ensure the availability and integrity of the archive’s holdings with
extremely high probability. ACE is based on rigorous
cryptographic techniques, and enables periodic auditing of the
archive’s holdings at the granularity and frequency set by the
manager of the archive. The scheme is cost effective and very
general, does not depend on the archive’s architecture, and can
detect any alterations, including alterations made by a malicious
user. ACE can gracefully adapt to format migrations and changes to the archive’s policies.