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AVATAR-m White Papers

Many of these white papers are made available in the Portable Document Format (PDF).
If you do not already have a PDF reader you can download one for most common operating systems here.

All white papers remain copyright of their respective authors unless otherwise stated and may not be reproduced without permission.

Reliable Audiovisual Archiving Using Unreliable Storage Technology And Services

First presented at IBC 2009. Copyright is retained by IBC.

Abstract

The drive for online access to archive content within ‘tapeless’ workflows means that mass-storage technology is an inevitable part of modern archive solutions, either in-house or provided as services by third-parties.
But are these solutions safe? Can they assure the data integrity needed for long-term preservation of Petabyte volumes of data? The answer is no. Field studies reveal data corruption can take place silently without detection or correction, including in ‘enterprise class’ systems explicitly designed to prevent data loss. The reality is that data loss is inevitable to some degree or another from hardware failures, software bugs, and human errors.
This paper presents ongoing work in the UK AVATAR-m project and in the recently started EC PrestoPrime project on a framework for storing large audiovisual files on heterogeneous and distributed storage infrastructures that allows various strategies for content replication, integrity monitoring and repair to be developed and tested.

The presentation by Matthew Addis (IT Innovation) at the IBC 2009 is here. This session on Archives: Just how reliable are they? was chaired by BBC (R&D)’s John Zubrzycki.

A New Approach to Audiovisual Digital Archiving

First Presented at NAB 2009

This paper presents work in the UK AVATAR-m project on how to specify and govern federated archive services that involve both local and remote storage.
AVATAR-m is a UK collaborative R&D project supported by the Technology Strategy Board where the IT Innovation Centre, BBC, Xyratex and Ovation Data Services are developing an innovative approach to large-scale long-term digital archiving within distributed storage infrastructures

Sustainable Archiving and Storage Management of Audiovisual Digital Assets

First presented at IBC 2008. Copyright is retained by IBC.

Abstract

With the advent of end-to-end tapeless production and distribution, the whole concept of what it means to archive audiovisual content is being challenged. The traditional role of the archive as a repository for material after broadcast is changing because of digital file-based technologies and high speed networking. Rather than being at the end of the production chain, the archive is becoming an integral part of the production process and as a result is being absorbed into wider digital storage environments, including those that are distributed or used across organisational boundaries. This paper presents some of the work done in the UK AVATAR-m project on service-oriented approaches to digital permanence and preservation of audiovisual content. Our specific focus is how to specify and then govern federated storage services in a way that ensures the long term safety, security and accessibility of audiovisual assets in a managed and cost effective way.

The Significance of Storage in the ‘Cost of Risk’ of Digital Preservation

First presented at iPres 2008

Abstract

As storage costs drop, storage is becoming the lowest cost in a digital repository – and the biggest risk. We examine current modelling of costs and risks in digital preservation, concentrating on the Total Cost of Risk when using digital storage systems for preserving audiovisual material. We present a managed approach to preservation, and the vital role of storage and show how planning for long-term preservation of data should consider the risks involved in using digital storage technology. Gaps in information necessary for accurate modeling – and planning – are presented. We call for new functionality to support recovery of files with errors, to eliminate the all-or-nothing approach of current IT systems, reduce the impact of failures of digital storage technology and mitigate against loss of digital data.

A Service Oriented Approach to Online Digital Audiovisual Archives

First presented at NEM 2008

Abstract

In many parts of the audiovisual community the boundaries between the environments used for content creation, distribution and archiving are becoming blurred.
The transformation in the way that electronic media is created and consumed is being followed by a transformation in the way that this content is archived, repurposed and reused. Traditionally, archives have sat at the tail end of the content lifecycle and provide a place where content tends to ‘end-up’ for safe keeping. However, today digital audiovisual archives are increasingly ‘embedded’ as active facilities within wider networked infrastructures and content-centric processes.
The archive becomes an integrated repository of audiovisual assets which are under continuous development and reuse. This paper presents work done in the UK AVATAR-m project on service-oriented approaches to digital permanence and preservation of audiovisual content. In particular, we recognise that the business models and processes surrounding the storage, preservation and access to digital assets are evolving fast and transcend traditional organisational boundaries.
Falling costs for networking and mass storage technology mean that remote archive hosting and direct integration of archives into inter-organisation supply chains is now a reality. Storage and access to archive content now takes place across organisational boundaries and there is a nascent but growing market for outsourced archive hosting. Our approach embraces this new world where archives can be both deployed in-house and as third-party services. Our specific focus is how to specify and then govern federated storage services in a way that ensures the long term safety, security and accessibility of audiovisual assets in a managed and cost effective way.
Keywords: Digital archiving, digital storage, service oriented architectures, audiovisual, preservation, archive management

This section details upcoming events, recent events, project announcements and publicly available information releases from the Avatar-M project.

Avatar-M undergoes further trials

After continued research and development, the Avatar-M project has started another series of trials for end-user scenarios.

The intention of these trials is to test the technologies within the project against the needs of end-users.

Should you have an interest in participating in these trials, please send an e-mail enquiry along with your contact details to enquiries@avatar-m.org.uk

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