Long Term Retention

The Long Term Retention (LTR) Technical Working Group (TWG) is addressing the "grand technical challenges" of long term digital information retention & preservation, namely both physical ("bit") and logical preservation. A major component of the TWG's Program of Work is the creation of a logical container format, named the Self-contained Information Retention Format (SIRF), for the long-term storage of digital information.

To join the group, please go to the LTR TWG page and click the "Add Member" link.

SNIA’s Long Term Retention technical group is developing a SNIA standard for a logical container format called the Self-contained Information Retention Format (SIRF). This new standard, currently available for public review, enables long-term storage and tape-based containers effective and efficient ways to preserve and secure digital information for many decades, even with the ever-changing technology landscape.

The work of the Long Term Retention technical group ensures that SNIA plays a full part in addressing the "grand technical challenges" of long term digital information retention & preservation, namely both physical ("bit") and logical preservation.

More information about the SIRF standard:

SIRF is a storage container for a set of digital preservation objects that provides a catalog with metadata related to the entire contents of the container, individual objects, and their relationships. It Is designed to be media agnostic, vendor agnostic, extensible, self-described and self-contained.

Aspects of SIRF serialization for the cloud are being experimented with OpenStack Swift object storage and the stored data is designed to be understandable and does not need specialized software to interpret it.

SIRF is interpretable by future data preservation systems, thus reducing the associated costs of digital preservation. SIRF plays a key role in the preservation and retention of important data. Typical use cases for SIRF would be the preservation of data attached to medical records, libraries and in the Movie/Film industry.

SIRF technical documents released in SNIA public review site and we encourage everyone to review and comment on the current draft v1.0 that is now available for review.

SIRF Scientific papers:

  • Simona Rabinovici-Cohen, Roger Cummings and Sam Fineberg, "Self-contained Information Retention Format For Future Semantic Interoperability", Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Semantic Digital Archives (SDA), September 2014, London, UK
    [paper]
  • Simona Rabinovici-Cohen, Mary G. Baker, Roger Cummings, Sam Fineberg, and John Marberg, "Towards SIRF: Self-contained Information Retention Format”, Proceedings of the Annual International Systems and Storage Conference (SYSTOR), May 30-June 1, 2011, Haifa, Israel
    [paper]

Selected LTR public presentations:

References for Long-Term Retention & Preservation:

Liaison Organizations with LTR TWG: