RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

Preservation virtual machine

The preservation virtual machine is designed to find a simple and efficient solution to the problem: how do you ensure file formats stored today are interpreted and rendered correctly in the future?

Project outcomes

The Preservation Virtual Machine projects are in the final stages of completion. Both projects have been a great success and the VM will soon be offered on all piqlFilm reels. 

You can learn more about the VM below, or check out the project on GitHub

Overview

What is it

A virtual machine is a virtualised computer, that can run and deploy programs. The preservation virtual machine is specifically designed for archiving purposes. It comes with a minimalistic implementation guide, designed for the distant future, where contemporary computers and SW no longer exists. This machine will simplify the process for obtaining access to all data stored on piqlFilm. It will also ensure that file formats stored on piqlFilm are rendered and interpreted correctly.

What does it do

The virtual machine implements self-executing file format decoders that decode the file formats and produce consistent output to input/output devices (i.e. an image appears the same regardless of the device it is viewed on).

How does it work

The VM automates a large part of the manual recovery of files from piqlFilm. Written in human readable text on piqlFilm, the virtual machine will decode and compile automatically and render the files recovered, which allows the user to open and access the information. This will have a significant impact for the user working to recover the information. The virtual machine renders preservation format files such as PDF/A, TIFF, WAV etc. ​

Development phases

The 24 month project began on 1 April 2018 and will be achieved through 6 work packages:

Specification and requirements
For a successful project, the specifications and requirements to make a preservation virtual machine were defined with clear and realistic ambitions. Key requirements are that the solution must be simple to implement in the future and at the same time we need to be able to demonstrate the solution today.
Future focused design
As this project is designed to be implemented with existing piqlFilm technology that stores data for much longer periods than other available media, this VM needs to be built with consideration to the distant future. Languages could be different, available technology will likely be vastly different – what information do we need to provide to ensure it is understandable and can be efficiently implemented. This included a detailed description of the VM with instructions, types and values, run-time system and memory model. This was also described in two different ways as human-readable text, and unambiguous and formal specification of the VM using established tools from mathematics and the semantics of programming languages.
Build
The next stage is to build the VM. The project currently has two implementations of the specification: one feature-rich that can be used to compile and assemble the VM applications and one fast version implemented in the C programming language.
Integration
Piql’s digital preservation system ingests content and metadata and prepares standard-based, self-documenting Archival Information Packages (AIPs) with the help of market leading Archivematica preservation SW for long-term storage and preservation.
Open source release
The goal is to make all the specifications and source code available on GitHub.
WP. 6: Innovation management
In this work package, we aim to ensure the project runs smoothly. This includes a number of administrative and management processes including risk management, financial management, a business innovation plan and commercialization plan.
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Click the buttons to see our partners for each project

iVM

Immortal Virtual Machine

SUPPORT
Eurostars funded (E!12494)
For this project we partnered with the below organisations:

The Norwegian Computing Centre (NR) is a leading research and development institution with extremely high competence in the field of computer science, across various applications. As a non-profit foundation, the service mission of NR is to perform research to serve industry, its partner companies and above all to benefit society as a whole. In iVM, NR will contribute with research and development of state-of-the-art VM for this application.

The National Museum of Norway holds, preserves, exhibits, and promotes public knowledge about, Norway’s most extensive collections of art, architecture and design. They will benefit greatly from the new VM feature and will be key in the dissemination to museums internationally.

Tedial is a leading provider of Media and Content Management solutions designed to maximize business efficiency and profitability. TEDIAL ’s Evolution platform provides international broadcasters and global media companies with the next-generation in MAM and business driven media workflow. TEDIAL has a global footprint and will contribute significantly to the uptake of Piql Services with the new VM feature, as well as for dissemination through their channels into the broadcast and media sector.

VirtuMa

VirtuMa

SUPPORT
Oslofjord Fond
For this project we partnered with the below organisation:

The Norwegian Computing Centre (NR) is a leading research and development institution with extremely high competence in the field of computer science, across various applications. As a non-profit foundation, the service mission of NR is to perform research to serve industry, its partner companies and above all to benefit society as a whole. In VirtuMa, NR will contribute with research and development of state-of-the-art VM for this application.