A guide to collection hosting with Veridian
As we build each new Veridian digital collection our clients can choose to either host the website themselves or delegate the task for us to manage and support.
The decision can depend on a number of factors such as an organization's budget, the size of their collection, and whether or not they have the in-house technical resource needed to maintain a server.
This article explains some of the key considerations for how to approach the question: To host or not to host?
What are the options?
OPTION 1. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model
- You pay a one-off setup and installation fee for your site
- The site is hosted by Veridian on Amazon Cloud Servers
- We take care of data preservation
- You pay an annual hosting fee which includes support and maintenance and the Veridian software license
OPTION 2. The Veridian Software Licensing model
- You purchase the perpetual use of the software with a one-off fee which includes customization of the site
- Your collection is hosted on your own server and maintained by your IT team
- Data preservation is handled in-house by your team
- An annual support and maintenance fee ensures Veridian support which is optional after the first year
Does outsourcing hosting cost more?
Maybe not. Due to economies of scale outsourced hosting may actually cost less than owning your own servers.
When your collection is hosted by Veridian, you may find your internal fixed costs are lower. This is because it removes the need for dedicated personnel or hardware to manage the job.
Any in-house hardware will need to match the size of your digital collection, so there is also the possibility that it would need to be upgraded should your collection grow significantly in the future. Scalability is not an issue for Veridian hosting services which are cloud based. However, if your organization is big enough to have cloud capabilities then this may not be an issue.
Which platform does the Veridian hosting service use?
Our cloud-based hosting platform is built on Amazon Web Services, the largest, most successful and most complete cloud infrastructure currently available. The collections have 24-hour server monitoring and disaster recovery. Most are hosted in Northern Virginia, though we can also offer hosting in other locations on request.
What are the benefits of Veridian hosting?
One of the key benefits is having us manage and support the project. Our expert help is always available and we respond quickly. This wraparound service makes it easy to maintain the collection and removes the need for you to deal with the complexity of your institutional or city IT department.
Data preservation and back up
We back up all your data including all user-generated data such as comments, tags and OCR corrections. Disaster recovery backups are stored on separate servers in distinct locations to those used for hosting the live sites, so in the unlikely event that your collection data is compromised, we will always have a copy safely archived.
Our collections have significantly better than 99.9% uptime. And in the rare event that something goes wrong you have our full support to get it up and running again quickly.
What do our customers say?
Bryan Whitledge is the Archivist for University Digital Records at the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University. He describes his experience with Veridian hosting:
“Working with the staff at Veridian has been a delight. From the start, their team has worked with us to truly understand our goals for our digital collections. We have an excellent relationship with our Project Lead, Jeffrey and we’ve come to think of him like one of the staff in our library. He and his colleagues at Veridian are always friendly, enthusiastic, and quick when we call on them to report any issues, to upload more documents, or to propose new ideas for how we use Veridian.”
Why do some choose to self-host a collection?
A number of our collection owners have institutional policies that require self-hosting. For example, the National Libraries we work with in New Zealand, Switzerland, Estonia and Singapore all host their own collections. Similarly, some larger universities we work with are able to rely on their own IT teams to manage their collections so don’t need to outsource hosting.
What does Veridian recommend to customers?
Based on many years of experience, we strongly recommend you consider our SaaS model where we host the collection for you. Here you benefit from the dedicated support of a Veridian engineer who is assigned to maintain your collection. They will take care of snapshots, backups, monitoring and disaster recovery should it ever be required.
Even in cases where a customer has an internal IT team who can help maintain the collection server, they will often be responsible for protecting the wider security of the entire organization or campus, so adding another system into the mix can add complication.
We’ve designed the Veridian hosting service to make things simpler and easier for our collection owners. We take care of the technical tasks so our clients can focus on growing and promoting their collections and building engaged user communities.
If you have any questions about hosting with Veridian or need a detailed quote with the options available please get in touch.