Using the Cloud to Archive and Preserve the Scholarly Record: Experiences from the DuraCloud Pilot

Wednesday, October 19 | 3:30PM–4:20PM | Meeting Room 103B
Session Type: E11
The DuraSpace nonprofit organization has been leading a pilot program with 12 institutions to test the feasibility of using the DuraCloud platform to back up and preserve digital content using cloud infrastructure. DuraCloud is an open-source platform developed by the DuraSpace organization that offers a simple and scalable cloud-based solution to the problem of preserving digital files. Key features include replicating content to multiple storage providers and running cloud-based services that support both preservation and access.

This presentation will give an overview of the use cases tested over a one-year period, followed by a discussion of the successes and limitations of using cloud infrastructure for managing and preserving digital content. Specific use cases tested included archiving multiple content formats in multiple cloud providers simultaneously, synchronizing content dynamically in the cloud, checking the integrity of content at multiple cloud providers, restoring content locally from a backup copy in the cloud, and comparing cost and performance to local IT infrastructure. The results discussed will be based on the testing and reporting completed by our pilot partners, which include but are not limited to, MIT, Columbia University, Northwestern University, Rice University, and ICPSR.

The DuraCloud pilot program has been graciously funded, in part, by the Library of Congress through its NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program). NDIIPP is building a national network of partners who share a mission of serving current and future generations through stewardship of the digital cultural record. In support of this goal, NDIIPP maintains an interest in funding innovative projects that focus on new and unexplored technologies related to digital preservation. Accordingly, the DuraCloud pilot program was funded to explore the prospects of cloud infrastructure for the purpose of enabling preservation and access.


  • Stu Baker

    Director, NUIT Administrative Systems - Alumni/Development Enterprise Applications, Northwestern University
  • Michele Kimpton

    Chief Executive Officer, DuraSpace