9.9: Issues and Concerns

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The unresolved issues or concerns raised by the information management system specifications are not primarily software issues. Everything that has been specified can be or has been done today; most of the design problems have already been solved. There are therefore no burning software issues or concerns; feasibility is well-established.

The only "dangerous" hardware assumption made in these specifications is the emergence of a 10x (6GB) CDROM format in time for the backup and archiving of DEIMOS image data (Summer 1998). Given current trends in the storage media industry this assumption is not unreasonable, but could still prove false. Use of a lower density medium would increase the requirement for jukebox space; however, this need does not become critical until at least 2 years (expiry of proprietary period for image data) after observing begins. Backups could be done on lower-density media (at a higher materials cost and with additional user intervention or small jukeboxes); only the master image library concept is challenged by the failure of 6GB or better CDROMS to emerge as predicted.

Resources and Policy
It is in this area that we encounter real uncertainties, and the risk of failure to fulfil our stated requirements and specifications. The public archive server is the locus of maximum uncertainty.