IT Center Blog

Archive Migration – The Journey Continues!

June 29th, 2022 | by



Source: Pixabay

Archive migration is probably what is called a mammoth project in IT. In addition to the enormous size of around 1.7 petabytes (PB) that needs to be migrated, some of the data has been stored in the archive for a very long time. This in itself is a great result and testimony to a secure and stable archive, but this circumstance caused the project team around the archive migration one or the other challenge.


Due to some technical challenges in the last months, we are unfortunately not able to keep the originally planned end of the project for the completion of the migration on June 30, 2022. Fortunately, we have been able to extend the maintenance contract for the tape library by two months to continue the migration. Your data is still safe.


Thank you, dear users

In the meantime, in addition to renewing maintenance contracts and the like, we have gotten over 93% of the 1.7 PB classified with the help of archive users. In fact, the project relies on the classification of the archive data previously held in the archive. This communicative and procedural challenge has been met by the archive migration team thanks to the great support of the archive users. So, once again, a big thank you to everyone who sifted through and cleaned up their nodes and then filled out the metadata form for classification so that the respective nodes could begin their journey to one of the new target systems.

The journey continues

Things are moving forward and archive nodes are being migrated steadily. Some users have already received their long-awaited completion notification and can now access the data in the new target systems Coscine and DigitalArchive. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the remaining users for their trust and patience. Sometimes archive nodes are migrated over several days, depending on their size and the number of objects they hold.

However, along with the technical challenges the team faced, many bug fixes and problem solutions were found thanks to numerous IT Center colleagues who provided support outside of the project group.

In the context of this project, we have also been able to look into the future of archiving in the context of higher education data and have advanced new forms of archiving:

  • The archiving function in Coscine for research data per se, and furthermore.
  • The ability to hold research data geo-redundantly in multiple locations of Coscine storage (RDS-NRW-Share).
  • The DigitalArchive, which now brings many features that were missing in the old archive.

We’ll keep you posted on the Archive Migration project and are excited about the great developments – even if it takes a little longer this time.


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

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