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Long-term preservation for research and teaching

Research data is a valuable raw material for scientists. In research projects, data sets are often collected over periods of several years and at high costs. The resulting data sets are unique and almost irreplaceable: many experiments and long-term studies cannot be repeated with an acceptable amount of effort.

Even during the planning of a research project, the question of how to store research data in the long term takes on central importance. Compliance requires that data be stored and reusable for a period of 10 years.

Unabhängiges Daten Management hilft auch den  Forschern in diesem Labor.

What are the criteria for long-term electronic archiving of research data and what are the challenges involved in designing digital archives?

Data and storage management for research institutions

A sustainable strategy for archiving the resulting data should therefore already be considered when designing a research project. This way, the data remains available and usable in the electronic long-term archive.

Research institutions that have already collected large amounts of data often face the problem of full storage systems and costly storage expansions. Optimizing the storage infrastructure can help here to relieve high-performance primary storage and archive older data.

For the long-term archiving of research data, a combination of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) with the concept of hierarchical storage management (HSM) is appropriate.


In order to ensure the secure long-term archiving of research data, considerations should already be made during project planning with regard to the volumes and types of data that will be generated. If you know what needs to be stored, you can plan a storage and archiving strategy that will reliably and efficiently secure the valuable data and keep it available.

Software for efficient storage and long-term archiving of research data

For the long-term archiving of research data and digital documents, a specialized software solution is used that quickly and reliably stores the accumulating data on the selected storage systems and ensures long-term, barrier-free access to the data.

Various considerations should play a role in the selection of this software:

Long-term archiving in the field of research with solutions by PoINT

Our software solutions for data archiving are used in renowned research institutions. With PoINT Storage Manager and PoINT Archival Gateway, institutes can cover different use cases, securely archive their valuable data and meet compliance requirements. At the same time, both solutions provide possibilities to quickly access the archived data. Thus, the data remains both readable and usable for further analyses in the future.

File-based long-term archiving with PoINT Storage Manager

PoINT Storage Manager - File Archiving

Our file-based archiving solution PoINT Storage Manager implements an information lifecycle management within a multi-tier storage architecture:


Case Study: Max Planck Institute Bad Nauheim

The Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research (MPI) has permanently retained terabytes of measurement data using online storage. This includes data that is only rarely accessed. The MPI holds petabytes of data overall. In order to reduce the costs associated with maintaining such large volumes, the institute chose to use the PoINT Storage Manager software, which enables long-term preservation, transparent read access and multiple media formats.

For more information, see our Case Study.

This is the preview image for the case study with MPI, which used the PSM.

The solution for Big Data Storage: PoINT Archival Gateway

In research projects, often data volumes in the petabyte range accumulate, which have to be stored securely and for a long time. For this purpose, our software PoINT Archival Gateway offers a high-performance and scalable object storage with standardized S3 interface.


Case Study: EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)

EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) stores research data and compressed data of less than 1MB up to 100GB in size, with a current dataset of approximately 50PB. Backup and long-term archiving data is written to tape. The previous in-house solution wrote the data from object storage to a disk file system and then to tape media. However, this approach did not provide sufficient performance for the growing data volumes. Moreover only 90% of the tape’s capacity was utilized. With the introduction of PoINT Archival Gateway, the research institute now has a high-performance and cost-effective solution to write data directly to tape via the standardized S3 interface and to cope with the data growth.

For more information, see our Case Study.

Case Study EMBL-EBI / PoINT Archival Gateway

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