REDDNET and digital preservation in the open cloud: Research at Texas Tech University libraries on long-term archival storage

James Brewer, Tracy Popp, Joy Perrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the realm of digital data, vendor-supplied cloud systems will still leave the user with responsibility for curation of digital data. Some of the very tasks users thought they were delegating to the cloud vendor may be a requirement for users after all. For example, cloud vendors most often require that users maintain archival copies. Beyond the better known vendor cloud model, we examine curation in two other models: inhouse clouds, and what we call "open" clouds which are neither inhouse clouds nor vendor supported clouds. In open clouds, users come aboard as participants or partners for example, by being invited to participate in development or in hosting hardware. In open cloud systems users can develop their own software and data management, control access, and purchase their own hardware while running securely in the cloud environment. To do so will still require working within the rules of the cloud system, but in some open cloud systems those restrictions and limitations can be walked around easily with surprisingly little loss of freedom. It is in this context that REDDnet (Research and Education Data Depot network) is presented as the place where the Texas Tech University (TTU)) Libraries have been conducting research on long-term digital archival storage. The REDDnet network by year's end will be at 1.2 petabytes (PB) with an additional 1.4 PB for a related project (Compact Muon Soleniod Heavy Ion [CMS-HI]); additionally there are over 200 TB of tape storage. These numbers exclude any disk space which TTU will be purchasing during the year. National Science Foundation (NSF) funding covering REDDnet and CMS-HI was in excess of $850,000 with $850,000 earmarked toward REDDnet. In the terminology we used above, REDDnet is an open cloud system that invited TTU Libraries to participate. This means that we run software which fits the REDDnet structure. We are beginning the final design of our system, and moving into the first stages of construction. And we have made a decision to move forward to purchase one-half PB of disk storage in the initial phase. The concerns, deliberations and testing are presented here along with our initial approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Digital Information
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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