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About Digital Collections

Alma Digital: Cloud Services

Tulane University Digital Collections are managed in Alma Digital by Ex Libris, which provides: 

"a well-developed backup plan consisting of multiple daily snapshots including a full daily backup. The backups are made to a separate set of disks which offers a much more reliable fast retrieve backup media and is stored at the site and in a remote secured location over a private dedicated fast secured line. This guarantees that at any point in time, in case of a disaster, Ex Libris holds copies of the data onsite and in a remote and secured disk backup. On a regular basis, Ex Libris performs a system backup to back up application files, database files, and storage files. All backup files are retained for 10 weeks. The privacy controls in practice at the company apply as well to all backup files. All backup files are subject to the privacy controls in practice. The restore procedures are tested on an ongoing basis to ensure rapid restoration in case of data loss.

  • On-site backup – Full backup for OS platform, application, and customer data are performed at least daily (multiple snapshots during the day for critical services/systems) using storage snapshot technology. The backups are kept for one week on-site at a separated set of disks. The snapshots are automatically mounted with specific access restriction values seen by the operating system in a special set of directories allowing for an easy and immediate restore at any time by authorized personnel.
  • Off-site backup – Full backup for OS platform, application, and customer data are performed daily using snap mirror technology over a private dedicated fast secured network connection from the primary data center to an off-site backup location using the same storage technology as the storage at the primary location. Subject to the privacy controls in practice, Ex Libris maintains the off-site backup locations in the same territory (NA, EMEA, and APAC) as the primary locations with a sufficient best practice physical distance. The backups can be retrieved back to the main data center 24/7 by authorized personnel. The backups are kept at the off-site backup managed locations."

Source: Ex Libris Cloud Services BCP

Tulane University: Cloud Services

Digital Scholarship & Initiatives manages working files in a cloud-based Repository Archive upon publication of a digital collection. Files may include metadata MODS .xml files, metadata spreadsheets, raw files, processed files, and other relevant files. The Repository Archive is hosted and managed by Tulane University Information Technology Infrastructure. 

Data is securely written to a 13-node Qumulo Enterprise Network Attached Storage (NAS) system. This NAS is meticulously designed with robust resilience features and data write protection mechanisms. Specifically:

  1. High Resilience: The 13-node Qumulo NAS ensures high availability and fault tolerance. Even if individual nodes fail, the system continues to operate seamlessly, safeguarding critical data.
  2. Data Write Protection: All write operations are meticulously managed to prevent data loss or corruption. Whether it’s user-generated content, databases, or critical files, the NAS ensures that data is consistently and accurately stored.
  3. Network Integration: The NAS is seamlessly integrated into the Tulane network infrastructure. It communicates with other network components, applications, and services to facilitate efficient data exchange.
  4. Cisco ACI Zero Trust Networking: The NAS connects to the Tulane network through a Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) configuration. ACI enforces a zero trust security model, meaning that every communication request is rigorously authenticated and authorized, regardless of its origin. This approach minimizes security risks and ensures that only authorized entities can access the NAS.
  5. Snapshot Backups: In the 13-node Qumulo NAS, daily snapshots are taken to create restore points. These snapshots serve as backups, allowing for data recovery from specific points in time. Note that Snapshots are point-in-time copies of data, that capture the state of files and directories at a specific moment.  The retention period for these snapshots is seven days. During this time, users can access and restore data from any of the daily snapshots taken within that window.
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