[OAI-general] RE: OAI-general digest, Vol 1 #74 - 1 msg

Hussein Suleman hussein@vt.edu
Sun, 20 Jan 2002 13:44:26 -0500


i'll bite :)

without going into the differences between data and metadata management, 
i agree that in general it is much better to outsource archive 
management. however, i am not sure if everyone is in a position to do 
that just yet.

notably, most universities and non-profit organizations do not seem to 
have found a workable business model to sustain DLs with 
manually-enforced quality controls (e.g., peer reviews, editing) and 
still give away the content for free as expected by their users.

so, as a result, it seems some institutions are considering setting up 
institutional archives (and hosting non-institutional archives at 
institutions) to piggyback on the already sizeable technology investment 
and networking infrastructure in the higher education and research sector.

sure, there are problems with this model, including that:-
- it doesn't address non-institutional DLs
- it doesn't scale arbitrarily (once archives get too large 
"piggyback"ing is no longer an option)
- it perpetuates the view that content should be free (i think at least 
some of it should be!)

but, all things considered, i think it will work in the short term until 
we find a better solution :) ... and, it may also work in the long term 
for very specialized areas. in a way, it may bring the advantages of DL 
technology to those "mini-archives" that cannot afford off-site hosting.

just a few thoughts ...


H.M. Gladney wrote:

> There is a bothersome implicit assumption in these notes--that an
> e-print archive needs to manage (part of) its own servers.
> Another possibility is that an archive buy storage and Web services from
> one of giant server farm companies that many businesses find practical.
> Doing so is likely to have several large advantages over any kind of
> "roll your own" (aka RYO) solution: avoided administrative headaches,
> automatic capacity management (as alluded to in the attached note), very
> short delay between proposal and service delivery, and probably (TBD)
> lower cost than RYO.
> If someone can identify strong arguments against this proposition, I'd
> much enjoy hearing them and perhaps having a friendly debate.
> Regards, Henry
> Henry Gladney, Ph.D       (408)867-5454
> HMG Consulting
> 20044 Glen Brae Drive, Saratoga CA 95070
> http://home.pacbell.net/hgladney/
> ----Original Message-----
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: ePrints Support [mailto:support@ecs.soton.ac.uk]
>>Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 3:39 AM
>>To: Bob Kemp
>>Cc: EPrints Underground List; jisc-dner@JISCMAIL.AC.UK;
>>Subject: Re: [OAI-general] Re: [EP-underground] Sustaining ePrints
>>One issue in the design of eprints-2 is that it is geared up to allow
>>many (smaller) archives to be run on one physical computer.
>>Which means
>>that a larger organisation could buy one "chunky" computer and then
>>provide eprints archives with seperate customisations, OAI
>>exports (and
>>colour schemes) for various departments which don't have the
>>resources and
>>expertise to do this themseleves. This should reduce the cost
>>in parts (and
>>system admin hours!) to get several archives going.
> In addition, should a particular archive become heavily used, moving it
> to a
> dedicated box is a snap. You really loose nothing with a multi-archive
> (versus monolith) design, and gain so much. Thanks to OAI protocols,
> developing an institute wide interface to all the small archives isn't
> much
> of a hassle -- in fact kinda unnecessary due to ARC
> (http://arc.cs.odu.edu/). If you can't tell, I'm a fan of this design.
>>This would probably work out more cost effective than buying
>>and installing
>>a machine and having learn the ins-and outs of the system for a single
>>archive. EPrints is free, so we don't have to grub for
>>licenses by requiring
>>one copy per archive :)
> Hurrah for free (GPL) software!
>>My own server, running eprints-alpha-2, is running
>>eprints.aktors.org + a couple of other test archives. Later,
>>it will be
>>running our department publications archive and an archive of
>>Ted Nelsons
>>The bottle neck is processor power, caused by larger datasets
>>but mostly
>>by "hits". So large, popular archives should probably run on
>>their own
> Some more metrics: on my un-optimized server, eprints/apache/mysql
> altogether require about 40MB of memory per archive. Most web hits are
> from
> robots and some from OAI harvesters (as it should be).  We have 10
> archives
> now, though some are just skeletons waiting for our authors to "see the
> light" so to speak.
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> Ed Sponsler - Sr. Applications Development
> Caltech Library System
> eds@library.caltech.edu
> http://library.caltech.edu/digital
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hussein suleman - hussein@vt.edu - vtcs - http://www.husseinsspace.com