[Archivesspace_Users_Group] ArchivesSpace performance problems and solutions

Callahan, Maureen maureen.callahan at yale.edu
Fri Aug 14 17:58:48 EDT 2015

Dear Robert,

Thanks for your email — Lyrasis has certainly demonstrated a commitment to members, which I know that we at Yale are glad to see. The issues addressed in this report are unrelated to Yale’s conversations with Lyrasis about becoming hosted customers — they address problems in the core application and are shared by the community. Please feel free to continue to direct communications about Lyrasis hosting to Ray Frohlich from our enterprise systems department.

Warm wishes,

Maureen Callahan
Archivist, Metadata Specialist
Manuscripts & Archives
Yale University Library
maureen.callahan at yale.edu<mailto:maureen.callahan at yale.edu>

Webpage: web.library.yale.edu/mssa<http://web.library.yale.edu/mssa>
Collections: drs.library.yale.edu<http://drs.library.yale.edu>

On Aug 14, 2015, at 5:45 PM, Robert Miller <Robert.Miller at lyrasis.org<mailto:Robert.Miller at lyrasis.org>> wrote:

HI Maureen,

I have just finished a meeting with my technical team (10 minutes ago). You email arrived right after our meeting concluded.

 Brad is going to be responding to you with some suggestions and ideas about an action plan. We have, with another arm of LYRASIS, been in discussions with Yale about the problems and have made two proposals to assist you based on what we were told. It appears there are a number of players involved from Yale so it is a little unclear, at least to me, to understand who we should be working with. Are you  the point person?

My goal is for our team and Org Home to help you work through this situation and to help the community as a whole.

If for any reason you do not think this is sufficient, please contact Brad, Angela or me directly. My cell is 415 640 1092. I am around all weekend.

Sound OK?



Robert Miller
Chief Executive Officer
1438 West Peachtree Street NW, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30309
Direct: 404-592-4898
Cell: 415-640-1092
Toll free: 800-999-8558
Skype: Robert-Miller

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On Aug 14, 2015, at 4:20 PM, Callahan, Maureen <maureen.callahan at yale.edu<mailto:maureen.callahan at yale.edu>> wrote:

To the Members of the ArchivesSpace Governance Board:

As ArchivesSpace member institutions shift from the task of migrating data to the utilization of ArchivesSpace for production archival management, endemic issues related to performance and scalability are severely limiting our ability to fully utilize the system.  Please find the attached report, created by Hudson Molonglo and sponsored by Yale, which outlines a set of sensible next steps to provide immediate relief to some of the problems that users of ArchivesSpace have been experiencing. As members, we are eager to participate in the continued improvement of the application. We see the areas targeted in the report as critical and a necessary first step in addressing performance concerns. We would like to see development to address these concerns happen immediately.

Collectively, many of our repositories are experiencing significant performance problems.  In some cases, members are seeing work grind to a halt as accession records take as long as twenty seconds to save, archival object records take as long as ten seconds to save, and records with many links (agents and subjects, digital objects, sibling records) may take as long as ten minutes to load, or never load at all. Without better performance from ArchivesSpace, we are hampered in our mission of providing meaningful descriptions of records for our users.

We think that you will find Hudson Molonglo’s explanation of these problems and proposed solutions helpful and actionable. While the normal procedures of voting on feature prioritization generally work very well for developing new parts of the application, critical issues like these cannot wait for the next round of voting.

As ArchivesSpace continues to mature, production-critical issues will be fewer in number. Until then, it would be helpful to chart an effective path to bringing these problems to the foreground and providing the resources required to address them quickly.

Finally, we recognize that like many other projects, ArchivesSpace’s growth will be an iterative development process.  And as such, there may be areas of the system -- like the thresholds we discovered for records with many links -- where archival practices exceed the system’s current capacity. Part of the competitive advantage of ArchivesSpace must come from transparency around not only its strengths, but also its current limitations.  We request documentation that outlines known thresholds and current capacity, so that we can make responsible decisions about the tool’s implementation at our repositories.

We are eager to continue this conversation.

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Callahan, on behalf of the Yale University ArchivesSpace Committee
Terry Reese, on behalf of The Ohio State University
Ben Goldman, on behalf of Pennsylvania State University
Chris Prom, on behalf of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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