The Hierarchical File Server (HFS) provides methods of storing data from a wide variety of sources, and for many different purposes. The HFS is a valuable University resource, with a finite, though large, capacity. The HFS Archive Policy is intended to ensure that the HFS Archive facility is used to best effect.
One of the goals in acquiring the Hierarchical File Server, in 1997, was to provide economical long-term storage of digital materials. At the beginning of 2013 the HFS Archive held over 80 terabytes of data, mainly from research and digital imaging projects. Over the past ten years the use of computers and the rate at which digital data is produced has changed substantially. Most, if not all, research projects have significant digital outputs whether large-scale data from remote sensors through to the digital materials collected in the making of a book. The HFS Archive Policy should, for example, now reflect the view that the writing of data to CD/DVD-ROM as a long-term data preservation strategy is unsustainable.
The HFS provides both backup and archiving services. The essential difference between archiving and backup is that the existence of an archive file is independent of the existence of the file from which it was copied; a backup copy is dependent on the existence of the file in the local filestore, and if the file disappears from the local filestore, its copies will, after a delay, disappear from the backup filestore.
There are other differences that make some data suitable or unsuitable for the HFS Archive Service - a simple table of what constitutes suitable candidate data for archive is listed for quick reference.