7.8 Risks  Automated storage systems can be configured to constantly copy and refresh data, discarding data tapes which have become unreliable. Large-scale Digital Mass Storage Systems are professionally designed and run by well resourced organisations which can afford and guarantee all necessary measures for data security.With manual data back up and recovery systems the dangers of data loss associated with self-designed and self-managed manual and semi-automated digitisation systems cannot be overestimated. The responsibility for ensuring that the archived audio data remains valid and accessible falls upon the individual, and requires that they physically check the data tapes on a regular basis. This situation is specifically aggravated by the fact that most research and cultural institutions are notoriously under-financed.  Though the design of such systems seems to incorporate a very high level of redundancy, one has to bear in mind that the digital components and carriers may fail at any moment without any warning. Therefore it is imperative to have at any stage of the digitisation process and the further storage at the very minimum two copies of the linear archive file. Any flaw will inevitably lead to the loss of a smaller or greater amount of data, however, if suitable strategies have been put in place, this will not be fatal because the redundant copies are available. In view of the time consuming process of transfer not to mention the inevitable losses of older materials, all efforts have to be made to avoid the necessity of re-digitising materials as an outcome of an inconsistent security architecture or careless conduct in the concrete approach.

7.8.2 Complexity of the System  Once implemented and installed data storage systems are relatively easy to operate and maintain. However, at the initial stages of implementation and at any subsequent problem or upgrade, specialised IT support is strongly recommended to ameliorate the risk of poor set up.

7.8.3 Partnerships and Backup  As has already been discussed, a partnership which provides data backup capability with an institution with established and trusted digital archival practices is a major manager of risk. A network of repositories which can create and accept such organised packages of information will be a most effective preservation strategy, spreading the risk of failure due to natural or man made disaster, or just lack of resources at a critical time in the life-cycle of the digital object.

7.8.4 Cost and Scalability A small scale system described above can be added to in order to allow the creation of larger storage and management capabilities. Relatively small tape drives which can handle a number of data tapes are available and larger scale robotic systems may make the system expandable. If HDD costs continue to fall the cost of replacing and expanding the disk arrays remains affordable. Partnerships between commercial suppliers and open source providers mean that the sophistication of the repository software can be integrated with the safety of a commercial service provider. DSpace and FEDORA, for example, have both released an open source system that operates with a commercial storage solution company. The cost of establishing a small scale data storage system may seem relatively high in comparison to purchasing an individual CD burner, however, on a bit for bit comparison for the storage of more than a few hundred hours of audio, the relative difference is greatly reduced when costing all the requirements of an archive. In addition, a properly managed data storage facility is an altogether more reliable system and will allow the future transfer of audio data to the next storage solution when that inevitability occurs.