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Vol. 4 No. 9 November 2005

File formats that stand the test of time

Storage professionals are beginning to grapple with long-term data archival. At the same time, archivists and records management professionals have poked their noses out of their musty books and are examining the problem of digital document preservation. By starting at the application layer rather than at the physical device layer, they seem to be making progress. This fall, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved PDF/A, a version of Adobe Systems Inc.'s Portable Document Format (PDF) file format suitable for long-term archive. As a subset of PDF version 1.6, the goal is to make documents stored in the PDF/A format recoverable and viewable for a much longer time than if they were saved as regular PDF files. But how much longer they can be saved is unclear. PDF 1.0 was first copyrighted in 1985, and can theoretically still be read with a contemporary PDF reader. In practice, that's not always true--anecdotally, users report being unable to open PDFs created with Acrobat 2 using Acrobat 6. "The intent of ...

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Features in this issue

  • Quality Awards: What are the best midrange arrays?

    Midrange array users are a generally satisfied group, according to the latest Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Awards survey. While all midrange array vendors fared quite well in this third installment of our awards program, the vendor that snared top honors might surprise some people.

  • Easing away from ESCON

    by  Alex Barrett

    ESCON, the protocol that pre-dated FICON as a systems-to-storage connection, is incompatible with the newer FICON-based systems. This tip looks at various ways you can tackle this dilemma.

  • Secure your backups

    The headlines tell the story: Lost tapes can jeopardize the confidentiality of personal information and cause public-relations woes for those companies charged with safeguarding that data. Encryption can solve the problem, but implementing tape encryption isn't so easy, as performance issues could impact backup windows.

Columns in this issue