back to article Let's Pope mass upgrade of Vatican Library data centre is blessed with some of that famed infallibility

The Holy See has upgraded the data centre used to preserve the extensive collection of historic documents held in the Vatican Apostolic Library. It has dismantled the old bit barn and replaced it with a small, self-contained facility with new networking infrastructure and eight server cabinets in a hot containment system. "We …

  1. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Devil

    What's this company's turnover? Their margins must be very good indeed.

    1. Jedit
      Angel

      "Their margins must be very good indeed"

      No, they rely mainly on angel investors.

  2. revenant Silver badge

    Backups

    "The scans also serve as backup if any misfortune befalls the library itself."

    That's useful, but I hope they have the sense to go one step further and create physical copies from the scans - digital copies won't survive the collapse of our technological civilisation.

    1. John Jennings

      Re: Backups

      15thC library. Methinks that this is one organisation which will manage backups effectively. Probably a few hundred monks scribbling away.

      Gawd but that would have been an interesting implementation project!

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        "Probably a few hundred monks scribbling away."

        Soon mobe-pokers and emojis will spell the end of handwriting... maybe it will only survive among monks, who knows?

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Devil

      "digital copies won't survive the collapse of our technological civilisation."

      I guess they think a couple of bibles is all the next civilization needs...

      1. Grikath

        Re: "digital copies won't survive the collapse of our technological civilisation."

        Bit more than bibles there.. Quite a bit more, actually.

        It's not generally realised, but a lot of the stuff we know about what happened in history (and isn't propaganda) does not come from a "historian" being present, or taking notes from survivors journalist-style. We know because of the godawful rows about who gets to pay the bills that got Religiously preserved by Accountancy and Legal.

        And about half the library is that kind of "boring" stuff that will become accessible to researchers that know it's in there somewhere, but don't have the neccessary accreditation.

        Not that it isn't a good idea to not let everyone paw fragile medieval documents, but this digitization project makes things a lot more accessible.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "digital copies won't survive the collapse of our technological civilisation."

          Add in a few land transactions and marriage contracts.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "digital copies won't survive the collapse of our technological civilisation."

            In my experience, "marriage contract" is a subset of the aforementioned "godawful rows about who gets to pay the bills".

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: "digital copies won't survive the collapse of our technological civilisation."

          Remenber it stores what they had no time or will to destroy and burn.... when they didn't burn the authors directly.

          Religions are often very effective at trying to destroy knowledge, and many books and libraries were destroyed in the name of some god - and those who think a single books is the only book you need to read, are the worst ones. We still see some religious madness about books today.

          Sure, some books were preserved because regarded useful, or because stupid people read into them what wasn't written, or because some cleverer ones understood their value, and couldn't destroy them.

          Anyway this the Library, not the Archives - it doesn't store Popes shopping lists.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solaris hardware?

    Father, Sun and Holy Ghost

  4. Am

    >"eight of its Net-Access Type S server cabinets in a hot isle containment configuration"

    So somewhere in the Caribbean maybe?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      So somewhere in the Caribbean maybe?

      Damn! Beat me to it.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will they use tablets to access it?

  7. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Hoping they are using a reasonable file format

    I'm hoping they use something like bitmaps or plain text to store their scanned data rather than some proprietary format. Like right now I am dealing with recovering some 10-year old scans of contracts that were scanned in some archaic format that the only bit of software that can read it runs only on Windows 95/98 and requires a special image processing card that doubled as the interface to the scanner.

    For reference, I believe that the World would be better off if the Catholic Church just up and disappeared overnight, or at least their management and central organization. But they are holding on to some historical records that are quite important from when they went through their World Domination phase and stole everything that wasn't Catholic, and burnt everything they couldn't abscond with; making them the only people with any written information left in Europe / Western Asia.

    Also, they are still holding on to a lot of files that are quite pertinent to on-going criminal investigations (Although I'm pretty sure those aren't going to be making it into their archives)

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Hoping they are using a reasonable file format

      Not just on-going investigations. They have a large number of documents that basically are "eyes only" and limited to a very select few if the stories and rumors are to be believed.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Hoping they are using a reasonable file format

        That's a different archive. The Vatican Archives, where documents about the operations of the Vatican are stored, is not the Library - although their physical locations are very close.

        It is true many documents in the Vatican Archives are not available - they are run as state archives with the same level of secrecy - if not more, and being an absolute monarchy (the papacy is modeled after the Roman Emperor.... Caesar is often more appealing than God) there are no FOIA or the like....

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Hoping they are using a reasonable file format

        Not just on-going investigations. They have a large number of documents that basically are "eyes only" and limited to a very select few if the stories and rumors are to be believed.

        *THOSE* are usually kept in the brain of a 14-yr-old nun with eidetic memory...

    2. AK565

      Re: Hoping they are using a reasonable file format

      But seriously, we all know the vatican would never deliberately exclude anything from digitization. It's just that info that might present Rome in an unflattering light will mysteriously find it self at tje bottom of the priority list. Thats all. #

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Hoping they are using a reasonable file format

      Just follow the link...

      "The implementation of DigiVatLib is based on open standards for metadata and APIs that allow the digital collections to be interoperable. We have adopted the International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF set of APIs making digital materials easily accessible and usable for scholars worldwide."

    4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Hoping they are using a reasonable file format

      Something like a Kofax Adrenaline SCSI card?

      Used to have those linked up to an ancient Kodak Scanner, although we used the Tif format.

  8. aks Bronze badge

    Off-site disaster recovery

    I wonder how this is being handled. I'm also hoping that they've been talking to the Gutenberg project and Google regarding the image format, OCR etc. Should be a fascinating project to do OCR on manuscripts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Off-site disaster recovery

      The only time I pray is when I need the off-site backup to work, it seems to have worked for them.

  9. SVV Silver badge
    Devil

    Vatican Library Data Centre

    Presumably they will not be advertising a job vacancy for their own Bastard Operator From Hell.

    1. Ashentaine
      Angel

      Re: Vatican Library Data Centre

      A Blessed Operator From Heaven, perhaps?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Vatican Library Data Centre

        Can he (no nuns doing priests' jobs, there) excommunicate users from the Holy Domain?

        You shall have no other domains before me

        You shall not take the name of the Domain in vain

        Observe the patches day, to keep it holy

        Honor your hardware and your software

        You shall not kill critical processes

        Neither shall you commit adultery installing someone else's software

        Neither shall you steal users' passwords and data

        Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor ["who, me?"]

        Neither shall you covet your neighbor's faster CPU, SSD and larger monitor.

        You shall not desire anything that is your neighbor's local file system, external disks, and cloud storage

    2. -tim
      Coat

      Re: Vatican Library Data Centre

      Their BOFH can pick his own email address and that could be as simple as va@va

      1. Wapiya
        Go

        Re: Vatican Library Data Centre

        Their BOFH can pick his own email address and that could be as simple as va@va

        The va TLD currently has no MX record. ua has one...

        And va and BOFH does that mix?

  10. VTAMguy

    Press release article, no research done, no real information presented

    Reads like a press release from Panduit. Not a lot of real information about the process here other than a bunch of statistics like you would find in a press release.

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