IT Center Blog

The Archive Migration – What has Happened so far…

April 13th, 2022 | by
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The archive migration is an important step in the transition of long-term data storage at RWTH Aachen University. Whereas research data can be archived on the Coscine integration platform, the DigitalArchive provides long-term storage for data without a research context.

Thus, the migration of data from the old tape archive (TSM Tape Library) requires the action of our archive users. For this reason, we have already started to widely inform about the archive migration in January 2021. For example, we also involved our users in the changeover in a dedicated information event on archive migration in March 2021. Together with the established stakeholder group, we have started implementation, process design and testing of the DigitalArchive.

Tidy up, classify, move – the archive migration

Aware that this project is a comprehensive change in which we rely on the support of the users, we called for a large-scale cleanup in the archive nodes early on. After all, all relocations have one thing in common: they are an optimal opportunity for a fresh start without legacy data. Therefore, it was all the more important to know what you actually have on your archive nodes. Many of you have noticed that there is a lot of dark data in the archive – data that is no longer needed.

Is that still good or can it go? – Classification is an art in itself

Since the end of December 2021, we have been collecting metadata from around 1050 archive nodes. Of these, 182 archive nodes have already been classified with the stamp “to be discarded” by the node contact persons. This means that these nodes and the data they contain will not be migrated, but will be destroyed later with the TSM Tape Library. A good 170 nodes move to the DigitalArchive because they do not contain research-related data and are assigned to the areas of teaching, administration or other data. The frontrunners are archive nodes classified as research data. Over 380 archive nodes will be migrated to Coscine, the storage destination for research data. We are very pleased with the great collaboration and are excited to see how the remaining nodes are classified.

RWTH backup admins – our very special relocation helpers

In order to be able to classify the rest of the nodes for which no classification has been done so far, we approached our RWTH Backup Admins. They are the specialists in the RWTH facilities when it comes to the data gold of the institutes and organizations. That is why, at the beginning of April 2022, we asked them to help us classify the remaining archive nodes at their institutions and get them ready for migration. Since the archived data is institute property, we are glad to have professionals on our side in the form of the RWTH Backup Admins, whom we can count on.

By the end of May, we should also know the remaining nodes classified in order to be able to implement a migration of the data by June 30, 2022. Therefore, it remains exciting in the context of archive migration until the last final notification has been sent to the node contact person after successful migration.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us so energetically! Thanks for classifying, testing, feedback, informing, forwarding and, and, and! You can find the latest information and updates on the IT Center Blog and in the IT Center Services status messages.


Responsible for the content of this article are Lukas C. Bossert and Nicole Filla.

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