Safeguarding the Continuity of RMorg - Disaster Planning
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Those of you who have explored or contributed to the contents of RMorg understand that hundreds of thousands of hours of volunteer work have gone into RMorg and can appreciate the enormous value of information found here. The contents now cover over 155,000 models and include more than 600,000 pictures and schematics. Questions may naturally arise as to whether RMorg is a secure place for all this information, and whether RMorg will continue to be available in its current form well into the future.
One could imagine scenarios in which the contents of RMorg are completely lost, or intentionally taken off line. A natural or man-made disaster could destroy the server and local backup copies. One of the programmers for RMorg could accidentally or intentionally destroy data. Perhaps a future "owner" might choose to exploit the contents for profit, making access difficult or expensive.
To safeguard against these kinds of negative outcomes, Ernst Erb has set up RMorg with longevity in mind. As many of you know, he has set up a foundation (Stiftung Radiomuseum Luzern) for long-term support, and an Officer Board has been created for RMorg. Advertising revenue and entrance fees help provide long-term financial support. All of this has been done so that RMorg is not dependent on any single person, and can thereby continue to operate far into the future, making the information we contribute today available to future generations of radio historians and enthusiasts.
Recently, one additional measure has been taken to safeguard the digital contents of RMorg and protect them from accidental or willful loss. A backup copy of all the contents of RMorg has been made on a hard disk drive, which is stored off-line in a remote location. Plans are in place to replace the remote copy with an updated copy once per year, so that in the worst case, less than one year of data would be lost. Eventually, there are plans to have multiple backup copies at various locations for maximum protection of content.
Ernst's original post on this subject in German can be found in the 2nd post here: Das Überleben von Radiomuseum.org
At Ernst's request, I have agreed to serve as the guardian of the first of these remote backup hard drives. A copy was made with contents current up to July 31, 2009, and this drive is now in my posession and has been tested and found to be in good working order. The drive is set up so that in the event of loss of the primary copies of RMorg contents, the backup drive can be brought on line quickly using VMWare software and a suitable web hosting service.
An agreement (attached below) has been put in place to prevent me or any future guardians of backup drives from misusing the content. The backup is for the sole purpose of recovering the operability of RMorg in the event of disaster; no other uses of the data are permitted.
The instructions for guardians of the backup drives emphasize that RMorg is to remain available on the web indefinitely. Even if at some point in the future any of the people in leadership positions with the Foundation or RMorg itself would be inclined to shut down RMorg, destroy its contents, or otherwise make RMorg's information unavailable, the instructions given to the guardians of backup drives are clear -- we are to keep RMorg online and available.
Through these kinds of measures, we have an excellent chance of keeping RMorg online for many years to come. Therefore you can feel confident that the time and effort that continue to be invested in RMorg will not end up being for naught.
This article was edited 30.Oct.09 16:20 by Thomas Albrecht .
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Because of the importance of collectors in the United States of America for the RadioMuseum.org, including its financing, I was looking for a suitable person who has the final say in the Board of Trustees. Through personal contacts, I have met at least three people who would qualify for such a position. All are born between 1958 and 1963 and are not retired but still working full time.
In 2013, I have reduced the number of daily tasks that I perform and in 2014, I would like to completely delegate all of my remaining "daily tasks" so that I can work full time on a new project not related to Radio.
Thanks to various measures, the independent financial survival of Radiomuseum.org is reached,