We are responsible as historians and archivists to ensure, preserve, and maintain [NMG's information assets] in a stable, safe, and backed up manner.
NMG, which just moved into a new Charlotte, North Carolina facility, uses a variety of tools that enable it to streamline production and preservation:
- Building4Media's Fork Production Suite enables NMG to ingest almost 10 terabytes of data from multiple locations every day and to add metadata at the time of receipt. NMG worked with Building4Media to enhance Fork's time-code stamping capability.
- Front Porch Digital's DIVArchive video content management system. NMG also worked with Front Porch Digital to ensure that DIVAsymphony, the service-oriented architecture framework for DIVArchive, would work well with various third-party products.
- An Active Storage system provided NASCAR with 200 terabytes of initial storage capacity.
- A SpectraLogic T950 tape library provides backup and, if needed, could be expanded to store 1.6 petabytes of data.
- An NMG-developed tracking system will pull data from all of these systems and enable staff to track a given file from the moment of acquisition through its placement in the archive.
NMG has justified its digital preservation investment on the grounds that it will enhance NASCAR's bottom line -- now and well into the future -- and it will be interesting to see whether its investment fully pays off. I suspect that it will. NMG used to produce programming in cooperation with its broadcasting partners, but it has gradually centralized production under its own auspices. Doing so has cut costs for both NMG and the broadcasters, but it's plain that centralization gives NMG more power at the negotiating table than it would otherwise have. Moreover, its ever-increasing volume of readily accessible, properly managed, and eminently repurposable digital assets is probably going to be a cash cow: NMG-controlled materials are finding their way into in feature films, video games, and other forms of entertainment, and will likely make their way into forms of entertainment that haven't been invented yet.
I'll also be interested in seeing how other sports sanctioning and governing bodies approach digital preservation. NASCAR is a bit unusual in that it is dominated by a single family, but every sanctioning and governing body is keenly aware of the monetary value of the content it produces and zealously interested in safeguarding its intellectual property rights. Moreover, they have both the money and the motive to think big -- which is more than most governments, universities, and corporations can say at this time.
By the way, if you need studio time, satellite feeds, or production services, NMG can, for a fee, provide them. You can also arrange to store "your company's entire library of assets" in NMG's content management system -- which leads me to envision a future in which NASCAR becomes a huge digital preservation service provider.
Stranger things have happened.