Intro to Disk Images:

During this module, participants will learn about:

  • What is a disk image?
  • How do disk images relate to Software, Content, and Environment resources in EaaSI?
  • What is the advantage of copy-on-write disk images?

Questions for Discussion/Reflection

  • Is disk imaging already a part of your organization or collection’s digital preservation workflow? Are there established policies, procedures, or guidance for creating or acquiring disk images in your collections?
  • In this module we discussed some of the advantages of “copy-on-write” disk image formats like QCOW2. Can you think of any drawbacks or tradeoffs with using this approach for resource storage?
  • What metadata would you need to know whether a disk image is compatible with a particular emulator or emulated Environment?

About EaaSI

The EaaSI program builds on previous work to apply the Emulation-as-a-Service (EaaS) framework for access and use of preserved software and digital objects. The project is focused on scaling the technological framework necessary for multiple institutions to configure, share, and access software and configured environments. EaaSI is focused on a distributed, community-driven architecture that sits on top of existing digital preservation infrastructure. This directly complements existing efforts by the Software Preservation Network and others to address key aspects of software preservation including legal advocacy, research about local software preservation needs, institutional capacity building for software preservation, collection development, professional development and training, and workflow recommendations.

About the EaaSI Training Module Series

Phase 2 of the EaaSI program of work (July 2020 – June 2022) will include a series of Training Modules, with one new Module to be released approximately every three months (a total of eight by the conclusion of Phase 2). These Training Modules are intended to supplement and expand on concepts alluded to in the EaaSI User Handbook, opening the design and functionality of the platform to wider feedback, comment, and discussion. Though particular features and elements of interface design may change between releases of the EaaSI platform, these Modules should remain consistent in elaborating on our infrastructure.

Each Module contains: a slideshow presenting a core piece of Emulation-as-a-Service functionality and its relationship to EaaSI goals and use cases; a set of questions for practitioners to discuss and/or reflect; and recommended resources from the EaaSI team for further exploration of the topic. Modules are intended to stand on their own but be easily adaptable to an in-person or virtual workshop session.

Preferred citation:

Gates, Ethan. (2021, November 29). EaaSI Training Module #5: Disk Images. Software Preservation Network.