Using the Cloud for Backup, Storage, and Archiving: Decision Factors, Experiences, and Use Cases Explored

Michele Kimpton
Chief Executive Officer

Geneva Henry
Executive Director, Digital Scholarship Services
Rice University

Holly Mercer
Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication & Research Services
University of Tennessee Knoxville

Mark Leggott
University Librarian
University of Prince Edward Island


In the past year, several organizations have made the decision to store, manage, and archive content in the cloud by utilizing the DuraCloud service. When moving their content into the cloud, these organizations had to weigh the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of using the cloud versus building and supporting a local solution. For Rice University, the key factors that supported the decision to adopt DuraCloud as part of its overall preservation strategy included the ease of working with the DSpace platform for ingesting content, as well as the ability to have a diversified distributed storage environment with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and Amazon working seamlessly on the backend for replicated storage and bit-sum checking.

Recognizing that digital preservation encompasses a range of activities and processes, but unsure where to begin, the University of Tennessee Libraries engaged two consultants to perform a “readiness assessment” in 2011 that recommended exploring outsourced options. In 2012, the University of Tennessee adopted DuraCloud as one component of its digital preservation plan specifically because of the DuraCloud capabilities for replication, geographic distribution, and “health checks.” At the University of Prince Edward Island, a more direct integration with DuraCloud was built in the Vault module for Islandora, which provides seamless application-level integration of DuraCloud with a Fedora-backed repository. Panelists will discuss decision factors that were assessed when determining whether to use cloud technologies, their experiences using DuraCloud, and how DuraCloud has become a part of their preservation strategy

Last updated:  Thursday, October 15th, 2015