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AIATSIS joins forces with Nutanix to digitise archives for future preservation and remote access

Joseph Guenzler -

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Studies (AIATSIS) has joined with cloud computing service and storage company Nutanix to assist in digitising its collections of Indigenous cultural items, it was announced on Tuesday.

For more than 50 years AIATSIS has developed and cared for a unique collection that contributes to building understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' cultures and heritage.

The collections include academic research materials and works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge keepers, artists, film makers, storytellers, and writers, as well as important related works by non-Indigenous people.

Artefacts presented at the AIATSIS (Photo: AIATSIS)

With more than one million items in the collections, AIATSIS recognised the need for a more sophisticated way to manage large volumes of data – particularly when generated at remote locations.

"Creating opportunities for people to encounter, engage and be transformed by our First Nations peoples is a vastly different challenge in today's digital society compared with our founding more than 50 years ago," said Syed Jaffary, deputy CIO at AIATSIS.

"Timely, digitised access to the resources in the AIATSIS collection makes it easier for First Nations communities to access that material and helps in bringing knowledge of the planet's oldest living cultures before a much wider audience.

"It all comes down to the power within our IT environment," he said.

The implementation of Nutanix AHV and the Nutanix Kubernetes Engine to create a powerful IT layer that extends the performance of AIATSIS core data centre to remote edge locations.

This enables large data sets to be analysed faster and with more accuracy, while the critical IT infrastructure underpinning the digitisation project can be managed remotely from AIATSIS' headquarters in Canberra.

Preserving culture (Photo: AIATSIS)

Applications and artefacts can be ingested in minutes, as opposed to days or weeks through its Content Management System.

Canberra-based Nutanix partner Qirx played a key hand in deploying the IT architecture for central and edge applications, which also helped AIATSIS simplify infrastructure management and reduce operational overheads.

With these efficiency improvements, the government agency has been able to dedicate more resources toward implementing innovative technologies across its operations.

"Preserving more than 65,000 years of Indigenous history ensures we can celebrate the traditional owners of this land long into the future," said Jim Steed, managing director ANZ, Nutanix.

"By digitising its vast collection, AIATSIS is making these unique cultural artefacts accessible to schools and communities across Australia. This is vital as future generations can learn from those who first made this land their home."

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