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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ronald W. Frazier" <[log in to unmask]>
> Hello all,
> 
> (Please forgive cross postings.)  After reading Mikes reply to my How CD's 
> and DVD's can fail article, I've been doing extensive research into CD and 
> DVD media which lead me into studying digital data archiving.  I'm going to 
> be modifying my article to correct some of the errors Mike pointed 
> out.  The field is so broad, my head is spinning.  The one conclusion I 
> came to is that, to really preserve digital data, takes lots of technology 
> and manpower and planning.  One document I read, either from the British 
> Library or the British Archives (can't remember which) cited a digital mass 
> storage system that they have.  They ingest enormous quantities of data.  I 
> saw a chart which estimated their average cost of maintaining the system 
> and administration over 5 years to be close to 9 EUROS PER GIGABYTE!  That 
> translates to $12.12 at the current exchange rate.  This is an astounding 
> cost.  This means the cost of archiving the data from a standard DVD movie, 
> 4.7 GB, for 5 years, would be 42.3 Euros or $56.97 at the current exchange 
> rate!  It would be cheaper to just buy a couple of movies from the 
> publisher every 5 years.  Of course, with most digital data, you don't have 
> that luxury.  Anyway, this cost factor really surprised me, considering the 
> almost negligible cost of the storage media itself.  I also saw a proposal 
> for a data storage system for audio visual materials for an agency 
> affiliated with the US National Archives which is planning to ingest, get 
> this, 23 TERABYTES PER DAY!  That's 23,000 GB / day.  So, combining these 
> two figures, it would seem that this US agency would need to budget $12.12 
> * 23,000 = $278,760 / day to cover their 5 year data storage costs.  This 
> works out to about $99 Million / year.  That sure sounds like a lot to 
> me.  In your experience, does that sound correct?
> 
Actually, I'm in an interesting off-list conversation with Richard
Hess per using hard drives (currently very affordable, with 320GB
drives retailing for Cdn$129!) as another method of digital archiving.
At that price, 32TB would need ten HD's, or about 10xUS$115, or
around $1,150/day (not counting the possibility of lower prices
for mass purchasing, usw.)...

Given that price, and assuming the data doesn't take weekends off,
we get $419,750.00/year...or about1/250 of the cost of the little
adventure in the Middle East...

...stevenc
(note that the death toll for data archival is somewhat lower
as well...)