SUNScholar/Capacity Planning

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Overview in the scholarly life cycle

With reference to:



This wiki page describes the proposed plan to implement the University of Stellenbosch Institutional Repository or Digital Library(see activity A411 above). Most of the implementation involves resources normally associated with traditional IT departments. The crucial difference in this instance however, is that the IT department will become directly involved in the core business of the University namely knowledge storage, dissemination and preservation. Because of this core nature, the best IT practices and procedures are being investigated with due diligence.

The IR (Institutional Repository) will:

  1. Store digital assets
  2. Catalog digital assets
  3. Present digital assets
  4. Preserve digital assets

Action Plan

In order to implement the IR it is proposed that items are dealt with according to priority. See below for a priority based action plan.

Priority 1 - Digital asset preservation

Click on the heading above.

Priority 2 - Digital asset storage

To ensure that digital assets are very safely stored, several methods will be employed.

  1. Store the live digital objects on a SAN in the IT building in the server room.
  2. Replicate the above storage system to a safe location on a regular basis and ensure the system is monitored in real time.
  3. Backup the live digital objects to a Tivoli backup system currently employed by the IT department.
  4. Store copies of the live digital objects on several commodity computers at various locations using the LOCKSS system.

Please note: At the moment the digital store designs by the popular institutional repository management systems are very poor. They do not use open standards, do not have persistance, do not have unique digital object identifiers and are very dependant on the metadata database. This is extremely risky as far as digital preservation is concerned. However Hilton Gibson from Stellenbosch University has proposed the SPUDS system as a possible solution to the above.

For details of file system capacities, see:

Priority 3 - Digital asset indexing and hosting

To ensure that the digital asset is correctly referenced on the internet at all times, the following steps will be taken.

  1. Normalise and standardise on a persistent URL naming scheme.
  2. Make use of third party services to ensure URL integrity and prevent "linkrot".

To achieve URL integrity it is suggested that the following machines be created.

For library services that are web facing one machine named with the following DNS name aliases of:

For library services that are internal one machine named:

For library services that host institutional repositories and are web facing, it is proposed that the following hostnames and machines are used:

    For legacy IR's such as CIB (To be moved at a later stage) and official IR documentation.

The use of allows the systems which backup and replicate to always refer to a persistent hostname, even if that host has an alias which may change later. If it does, then nothing that refers to the primary hostname for system support will change only the name alias. So as far as system support is concerned the primary host is still there to support with no configuration changes.

Priority 4 - Digital asset presentation and management

Click on the heading above.

Priority 5 - Digital asset open access

Click on the heading above.

Supporting Systems

IT Dept Service Level Agreements

In order to operate the campus IR, certain systems have to be supplied by the IT department. It is recommended that service level agreements be drawn up that address the following:

  1. Supply of institutional virtualised computer systems that are replicated to a secure location.
  2. Supply of an institutional internetworking infrastructure for access to the IR from the campus network and the internet.
  3. Supply of an institutional electronic authentication and identification system for campus and guest users.
  4. Supply of an institutional digital object storage space in the IT building which is backed up to a secure location.
  5. Supply of an institutional electronic certification system to "sign" digital objects. This is to provide digital curation abilities in the future.

Building Support Capacity

Click on the heading above.


Graph of the growth of IRs

Taken from the OpenDOAR database website.

Additional References

Plenary Session Meeting