4. Cost-Recovery Charging

The hardware infrastructure underpinning any reliable Archive service must be of high quality, be available 24/7, be scalable and have a degree of redundancy that avoids service disruption if any single element or path of elements fails. Such systems obviously entail an elevated level of expense. The University bears this expense partly via the funding of the Archive service as a core-service. and this is represented by there being no point-of-use charge for the archival storage of the first 1 TB of any approved project.

Increasingly, however, this level of 'free' storage is not adequate with some projects generating many terabytes of data requiring archival. All projects seeking funding should now include a defined element for long-term storage of any data and as a result the following charging models have been developed, based on the Full Economic Costs (FEC) model, to reflect the costs of large-scale, long-term archival of data within the HFS.

  1. For projects wholly or largely funded by bodies external to the University;
  2. For projects wholly or largely funded by sources internal to the University.

Charges are incurred at the TB boundary and in advance. A purchase order should be raised for "the archival of N TB of data for X years with the HFS", include the Project Name and be sent to OUCS. The HFS will monitor actual occupancy on a monthly basis and report this to the designated contact email address for the project. Additional purchases can be made for increased storage and applied on a yearly basis.

The charging models cover staff costs (management, systems administration, and user support), as well as the costs of media, hardware and software maintenance licensing and support - all of which, with the exception of the client software licence, may be seen to increase generally in line with the amount of data stored. Media costs represent a significant element of the storage costs and have a reasonable lifetime of five years before the data should be rewritten. Charges are incurred at the TB boundary as the tape media have a capacity of 1TB. Thus it clearly requires the same number of tape volumes (2) to store either 1.1TB or 2TB. Three copies of data are written to separate tape volumes, one of which is stored online for ready data retrieval, one volume is stored on-site in a secure firesafe and one stored at a secure site outside Oxford. It is hoped that this represents an affordable yet high quality, reliable archive service.

The charges are reviewed on an annual basis and are documented as a Premium Service in the HFS Service Level Description.

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