Multi-location storage, by itself, doesn’t fulfill the scope or requirements of a robust digital preservation program. Storing digitised and born digital assets in multiple locations can protect them against many threats, but it still leaves them vulnerable to potential bit rot, obsolescence, and technical failures.

Why multi-location storage is not preservation.

There are numerous reasons why multi-location storage does not fulfill the criteria for active preservation as follows:

Data Integrity and Authenticity – Multi-location storage is an essential component of digital preservation, but it is not an end in itself. It will not guarantee the integrity or authenticity of the stored data. Regular checks and integrity validation as well as appropriate preservation metadata will ensure that files remain unaltered, and their provenance can be verified.

Strategic Planning – Digital preservation requires a strategic approach, including ongoing monitoring, regular assessments of preservation risks, and the development of policies, workflows, and procedures to address challenges proactively.

Format Obsolescence – Digital files can become obsolete over time as technology evolves. Active digital preservation involves monitoring and addressing format obsolescence by migrating files to newer, more sustainable formats.

Technological Changes – Hardware and software technologies to render digital files change rapidly. Ensuring long-term accessibility requires regular updates, migrations, or emulation strategies to keep digital content usable on current and future technology platforms.

While multi-location storage is an important aspect of a broader data management and protection strategies, it does not cover the full complexity of active digital preservation. A comprehensive digital preservation plan includes ongoing activities to manage your digital objects throughout their lifecycle. Considerations such as data curation and appraisal, metadata management, file integrity and authenticity, format and technology obsolescence, discovery, access, and re-use, as well as the choice of preservation system, are all crucial to best practice in a robust digital preservation.

DatacomIT is a leading provider of innovative digital preservation solutions, ensuring that your valuable data and assets are preserved in perpetuity. We provide consultation and technical support for implementing digital preservation systems and planning. We also offer digital preservation training programs that can be tailored to meet your specific organisational requirements.

Get in touch with us on 1300 887 507 or to assist in safely preserving your digital collections.