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STK5800 and EPrints. Services for Object Storage and Preservation March 2008 . All content in these slides is considered work in progress. In no way does it represent an absolute view of any final end product and at this stage should purely be considered a set of realistic ideas. . Outline.

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STK5800 and EPrints

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Stk5800 and eprints

STK5800 and EPrints

Services for Object Storage and Preservation

March 2008

All content in these slides is considered work in progress. In no way does it represent an absolute view of any final end product and at this stage should purely be considered a set of realistic ideas.



  • StorageTek 5800 (The Honeycomb) provides high resilience data storage with a built in metadata layer.

  • EPrints is a piece of repository software for managing large collections of digital objects and their related metadata.



  • Open Source repository software to provide open access to institutional output.

  • Provides a powerful plugin based package which can easily be extended at any layer to suit a users requirements.

  • 2 types of archive

    • Those used to manage publications and small objects.

    • Those used to deposit large objects. These tend to contain heavier customisation.



  • Preserv2 is the 2nd iteration of a project looking at preservation services for repositories.

  • Beyond simple backup

    Format Renderers, Format Translation, Risk Assessment, Interoperability and long term storage.

Why use a honeycomb

Why use a Honeycomb?

  • A Honeycomb is not just a “Big Disk”

  • A Service Based Architecture:

    • Big object, big storage, more powerful plugins/services.

    • Smaller Repositories can jointly use a single Honeycomb as a “Preservation Service”.

  • Preservation Service Providers

    • Can combine several servers into a “Honeycomb Cloud”

Eprints architecture

EPrints Architecture

EPrints (Repository) Layer

Object Storage

Metadata Storage

Eprints and honeycomb

EPrints andHoneycomb

EPrints (Repository) Layer



Services for repositories

Services for Repositories

EPrints (Repository) Layer

Metadata Services

Storage Beans


Wide Area Backup

Metadata services

Metadata Services

  • Same resilience as data.

  • Averts the need to store a file id/url somewhere in order to find an object.

  • Enables collections to be constructed by independent parties.

  • Objects can be exported into many formats accurately.

Storage beans

Storage Beans

  • Can perform operations upon the objects in the system without reliance upon the repository to manage these processes. (e.g. Object Translation)

  • Preservation services can provide feedback to repository administrators on potential risks to their objects. (e.g. Object Classification, age)

  • Can be used to extend the metadata layer to provide more powerful access to objects and their parts/pages. (e.g. Retrieve me page 10 of volume 6 of X)

Wide area replication backup

Wide AreaReplication (Backup)

  • The possibility to link two or more Honeycombs together over a wide area to provide mirrored backup.

  • This can be implemented by the archive which can store its objects in a “Honeycomb Cloud”

Possible architectures 2

Possible Architectures (2)




Possible architectures 3

Possible Architectures (3)




Possible architectures 4

Possible Architectures (4)




Preservation services

Preservation Services

  • A “Honeycomb Cloud” provides the basis for a preservation service which can be provided to many small scale (<200Gb) repositories.

  • Options for object storage:

    • Locally with Honeycomb acting purely as a preservation service.

    • Hand all object storage and retrieval to Honeycomb Cloud.

    • A half and half solution:

      • Small Objects served locally, Large Objects from Honeycomb.

      • Recent and Popular Objects served locally, Older Objects considered preserved.

Eprints with the stk 4500

EPrints with the STK 4500

The out of the box repository solution for Large Repositories.

Thumpers big disk

Thumpers “Big Disk”

  • The Thumper system (STK 4500) is essentially a “Big Disk” server.

  • “Out of the Box” solution.

  • Expansions:

    • Services to enable replication between 2 thumpers.

    • Preservation services using a Honeycomb.

      Aimed at Repositories where tape backup is not ideal.

Ecrystals possible use case

Ecrystals (Possible Use Case)

  • Large Chemistry repository which currently stores only processes result objects (small).

  • These result files are generated from >1Gb raw datasets.

  • 8+ Datasets generated a day.

  • After 6 months results sets are of less worth.

    • This represents 1TB of raw data in a 6 month period.

Ecrystals single honeycomb architecture

ECrystals – Single Honeycomb Architecture

  • Current Repository Remains

  • All Results Sets Stored on HoneyComb


    Simplistic Architecture

    Sole use of Honeycomb

    Year of “on-site” storage.



    Backup Procedure?

EPrints (Repository) Layer

Ecrystals thumper with honeycomb cloud

ECrystals – Thumper with “Honeycomb Cloud”

Thumper System

EPrints (Repository) Layer


Single local machine

6 months+ locally Accessible

Automated Preservation

Preservation Services managed by Honeycomb Cloud.

Storage Beans on Honeycomb Cloud compress older/less popular objects





  • Honeycomb provides:

    • Better separation of repository layer from storage layer.

    • Repository interoperability.

    • Anew approach to storing and preserving data from institutional repositories based on EPrints and other software.

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