6.1.4 Practical Aspects of Data Protection Strategies There is a reasonably standard suite of strategies used to manage data in long-term storage. Most are predicated on an assumption that the data carrier itself does not need to be preserved, only the data. The following comprises, in part, those strategies. Allocation of responsibility: Someone must be given unambiguous responsibility for managing data storage and protection. This is a technical responsibility requiring a particular set of skills and knowledge as well as management expertise. For all collections, data storage and protection require dedicated resources, an appropriate plan and must be accountable for these strategies, and even very small collections must have access to the necessary expertise and a dedicated person responsible for that task. Appropriate technical infrastructure to do the job: Data must be stored and managed with appropriate systems and on an appropriate carrier. There are digital asset management systems or digital object storage systems available that meet the requirements of audio digital preservation programmes, some approaches to which are discussed below. Once requirements have been determined, they should be thoroughly discussed with potential suppliers. Different systems and carriers are suited to different needs and those chosen for preservation programmes must be fit for their purpose. The overall system must have adequate capabilities including: Sufficient storage capacity: Storage capacity can be built up over time, but the system must be able to manage the amount of data expected to be stored within its life cycle. As a fundamental capability, the system must be able to duplicate data as required without loss, and transfer data to new or ‘refreshed’ carriers without loss. Demonstrated reliability and technical support to deal with problems promptly. The ability to map file names into a file-naming scheme suitable for its storage architecture. Storage systems are based around named objects. Different systems use different architectures to organise objects. This may impose constraints on how objects are named within storage; for example, disk systems may impose a hierarchical directory structure on existing file names, different from those that would be used on a tape system. The system must allow, or preferably carry out, a mapping of system-imposed file names and existing identifiers. The ability to manage redundant storage. As digital media has a small, but significant failure rate, redundant copies of files at every stage are a necessity, especially the final storage phase. Error checking. A level of automated error checking is normal in most computer storage. Because audio and audio-visual materials must be kept for long periods, often with very low human usage, the system must be able to detect changes or loss of data and take appropriate action. At the very least the strategies in place must alert collection managers to potential problems, with sufficient time to allow appropriate action. Technical infrastructure must also include means of storing metadata and of reliably linking metadata to stored digital objects. Large operations often find they need to set up digital object management systems that are linked to, but separate from, their digital mass storage system, in order to cope with the range of processes involved, and to allow metadata and work interfaces to be changed without having to change the mass storage.