Digital Preservation service FAQ

The DigiSafe service has been running since 1 October 2020 and is being used by a growing number of units from across the collegiate University. 

The list of FAQ is added to as new questions arise.

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Is this replacing an existing solution? 

DigiSafe is a new service set up in response to a recognised demand. In some cases it may also be a possible alternative to the current HFS Archive service.

What's the difference between DigiSafe and storing things on a portable drive/my computer?

Putting things on a hard drive or desktop computer may be enough if all you need is somewhere to put something and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it got lost, damaged, or seen. DigiSafe offers storage that is secure, which is needed where you have to guarantee that something will be safe and readable in years to come and you need to make sure not everyone can get access to it. DigiSafe also provides a range of built-in tools to help you manage your data, for example finding files, viewing material on the platform, recording who has done what to a file, schedule retention periods and setting permissions for different users and parts of your storage.

Where is the data stored? 

Each file is stored in four copies, held in the UK by two different cloud providers (AWS, Azure).

Permissions: Can one have multiple discrete sections within a unit where the person administering a section wouldn't be able to access the contents of other sections?

Yes, you can set different permissions for different parts of your unit's space and control who can access the material and what kind of access they have. 

How often is the virus database updated?

It is updated daily.

Are you using any particular metadata schema or is completely individual to the client? 

You can use your own or choose one that has been pre-defined.

Action logs: Does the system record changes users have made to folders/content? 

Yes, all actions are recorded in an audit trail (who, what, when)

Storage quota: What happens if we reach our allocated  storage quota?

You can exceed your quota whenever you like by simply uploading more material. Unless otherwise agreed, your unit will be charged monthly for the additional storage. Each unit is responsible for monitoring their storage use (reports are available through the platform)

Is the service GDPR compliant?

The platform has been assessed by the University's Information Security team and is deemed safe for storing all kinds of data, including confidential data.  

Is there a limit to the number of users each unit can have?

Each unit normally has two Unit Administrators (with additional rights and responsibilities) and as many additional users as they need. Please be aware that it is the responsibility of the Unit Administrators to support their users and monitor their use of the platform, so you may want to restrict the number.

Does the service use SSO?

Users need to be registered on the platform and activate their DigiSafe account. They can then sign in using SSO.

Do you need to have special skills to use the platform? 

The system offers easy upload/download facility (‘drag-and-drop’) with simple workflows for non-archival specialists as well as advanced functions for professional archival use. Each unit has a Unit Administrator, who supports other users in the unit.

What kind of training is available?

Two kinds of training are offered in the first year: for Unit Administrators, responsible for setting up and managing a unit's space, and for other users, who will be uploading and accessing material but do not need to know about the advanced features. Training sessions are currently held online via Teams.

Is there a user manual which users can access should they decide to use the service? 

Support materials are available via the User Group Teams site. 

What kind of support is available?

Training and onboarding is offered when a unit signs up to the service. The Service Manager is then available to answer questions and support the Unit Administrators. Additional training or demo sessions may be offered as and when needed, for example when new features are introduced. 
All users are added to the DigiSafe User Group, and invited to attend regular User Group meetings to learn about new developments, discuss general questions and share tips and experiences. 

Will the subscription cost change?

The subscription charge is based on the cost of running the service. If more units join, the fee per unit may go down. It will not be increased above inflation.

We don't need much storage - can we get a discount?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a discount to those who do not use their full quota (we still have to pay the supplier).

We need a lot more storage - can we get a discount?

The supplier offers a (small) discount for larger orders. This is passed on to the units (current prices are available in the price list). 

When can we sign up?

The subscription year runs from 1 October. If a unit wants to join part-way though a year, it may be possible if the necessary resources for onboarding are available. You will still need to be prepared to pay the fee for the full subscription year.  

How is additional storage charged?

Unless otherwise agreed, units are charged for additional storage monthly, as and when they exceed the initial quota. There is a minimum charge (90 days) for storage exceeding the quota (contact us for details).

Do we have to renew the subscription every year? 

The subscription is automatically renewed on the 1st October each year, unless canceled by the subscriber 3 months in advance.