"Digital information is at risk of being lost." That is the warning from 276 long-term archive practitioners who participated in the Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA's) 100 Year Archive Requirements Survey Report. The recently released report by the SNIA's Data Management Forum and its 100 Year Archive Task Force captures the operating practices, requirements and issues facing organisations managing large amounts of information. This information can be managed for extended periods of time spanning from ten years to forever, and the study aims to provide a better understanding of market requirements so that the task force can frame a definition of best practices and technology solutions. Key survey findings presented in the report include the following: * Long-term digital information retention needs are real: 80 percent of respondents have information they must keep over 50 years, and 68 percent of respondents said they must keep this data more than 100 years. * Long-term generally means greater than ten to 15 years a period beyond which multiple physical media and logical format migrations must take place. Only 30 percent declared they were migrating information at regular intervals. * Database information was considered to be most at risk of loss. * Over 40 percent of respondents are keeping e-mail records over ten years. * 70 percent of respondents say they are 'highly dissatisfied' with their ability to read their retained information in 50 years. Overall, those surveyed felt that current practices are too manual, prone to error, costly and lack adequate coordination across the organisation. In addition, information classification and collaboration between those who own informationand administrating groups were both recognised as very important practices that can be implemented now. Respondents from the RIM, Archivist, IT, Security, Legal and Business communities of 276 organisations participated by sharing their opinions, challenges and operational needs related to long-term digital information retention. The market requirements identified in the survey can be summarised into four categories. These requirements will guide the work of the SNIA's Data Management Forum moving forward: 1. Accommodate the critical business drivers behind long-term retention. 2. Overcome the barriers of cost and complexity that are inhibiting adoption of best practices. 3. Address the information practitioner's needs by providing better management tools, best-practices, job visibility and education. 4. Solve the technology challenges of logical and physical migration, scalability, classification and the incorporation of metadata into archival repositories. For more information and to view the 100 Year Archive Requirements survey, visit www.snia-dmf.org/100year.
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