Technical maintenance

A stable operational repository has fairly modest technical maintenance requirements, most of which can probably be handled by your central IT services, or by your outsourcing service provider.

Probably the most important thing is to check the arrangements for back-ups, and ensure that your repository is being backed up on at least a daily basis. You should correspondingly check how you would restore material from back-up, and what the turn round time would be. For this and other ad hoc troubleshooting and support, it tends to be advantageous to secure a named contact - ideally the person who installed the repository - rather than having to use a general IT helpdesk. There may also be advantages in negotiating a service level agreement. If you need to quote FTEs (full time equivalents) for technical support, a day a month, or half a day a week should be sufficient, averaged over the year.

Software upgrades are a different kettle of fish. Experience suggests that upgrades can require considerable effort, especially if major changes have been made to the software and/or the associated database, or you have heavily customised your site. The timescale is very much case-dependent, but you should think in terms of a week to a month of full-time technical work. It can help to do a preliminary scoping exercise to determine the tasks that need to be done, and estimate the effort required. As with installation, it is advisable to assign technical staff full-time for the duration of the upgrade.

Find out more from the JISC Digital Repositories infoKit