Long Term Data Sustainment

GreenEnvelope What happens when your product lasts longer than your IT system? If you are lucky, you won’t be able to read your old data. If you are unlucky, the next system will read the old data but introduce subtle errors – for example, if your data is used to make parts for an aircraft:

  • Merely unlucky – the parts you make from your design won’t fit;
  • Quite unlucky – the parts fail more often and the customer complains;
  • Very unlucky – the aircraft crashes and you get sued for billions.

Data sustainment is planning not to rely on luck. It is ensuring the data remains usable and reliable. It is usable if you can still read it. It is reliable if you know that what you read is what you wrote.

This page is the starting point for various notes on data sustainment – or data curation, data retention, or even archiving.


Related sites:

  • OAIS – Open Archival Information Standard – as ISO 14721-2003 you either have to buy a copy of the standard or find the original NASA document.
  • LOTAR – OAIS for Aircraft Design Data
  • RASSC – repository Access Through the Supply Chain – site now defunct, but I will look for publicly available sources
  • The 4C project