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by Mike Quinn

A new era for digital preservation in the cloud

Preservica CEO, Mike Quinn shares his perspective on the benefits and impact of private cloud hosting and low-cost durable storage on digital preservation.

April 5, 2018

For some years now, it has been possible for institutions who want to future-proof vital digital content to do so by choosing alternative deployment options: either, to set up their own internally-hosted digital preservation system, or subscribe to a cloud-based system (so called Software-as-a-Service, SaaS).

Both choices have their advantages, and constraints.

The advantage of an internally hosted-systems has been control, privacy, and the relatively low cost of storage. Control of the digital preservation software, the privacy of dedicated hardware servers behind institutional firewalls, and internal (or cloud-based) storage that can scale to hundreds of TB’s or even PB’s – at a known and predictable cost. Of course, there are “hidden costs” inherent in such an internal digital preservation system: setting up the software & infrastructure, managing continuous upgrades, continually assessing security and scalability, and ensuring an in-house technology team is available and trained up given all the other organizational priorities. All these are required to ensure the system is viable over the long-term and these hidden costs are not insignificant! Whilst they are perfectly viable for many large memory institutions for which digital preservation is business-as-usual, this is entirely out of reach for a majority of institutions that have a duty of care for long term digital content.

In contrast the advantage of a cloud-based SaaS solution is convenience, ability to scale, and a known “total cost-of-ownership”. Solutions such as Preservica Cloud Edition (CE) hosted on AWS provide comprehensive out-of-the-box digital preservation & access functionality, the ability to scale to multi-TB’s all at an annualized fee that is known, and can be easily budgeted over the long term. However, this convenience does have some limitations for institutions that require privacy (i.e. dedicated servers), and who want to scale to hundreds of TB’s, or PB’s without paying over-the-odds for data storage. And it’s fair to say that vendors, including Preservica, have charged a premium for such “preservation data storage”, usually at a per TB price far in excess of the “regular data storage” prices of leading cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft.

As the market leader in digital preservation solutions, Preservica has decided to change the model to eliminate these hidden costs and storage pricing idiosyncrasies.

Firstly, by offering Enterprise Private Cloud (EPC) we are combining the advantages and eliminating the constraints inherent in both the traditional on-premise and SaaS deployment models. With EPC, it is now possible to enjoy your own, private, cloud-hosted server with enterprise-grade digital preservation. Together with our Active Cloud Escrow Backup service, this offers a 100% data integrity and durability guarantee, providing institutions with the privacy, confidence, control, and ability to scale digital preservation…..whilst eliminating all the hidden costs of software & infrastructure set-up, upgrades, or maintaining a dedicated, in-house technology team.

Secondly, we have announced that EPC (and Preservica Cloud Edition Professional) will match the AWS cloud storage prices. This means institutions can scale digital preservation storage to hundreds of TB’s or even PB’s safe in the knowledge that they are paying the most competitive market rate. From today, the price of “preservation data storage” = “regular data storage”.

I believe that our community will welcome these new choices and Preservica will continue to strive to offer organizations of all types and size, a range of options so they can fully embrace digital preservation in a transparent and affordable way.


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