What Is an Information Repository?

Mary McMahon

An information repository is a collection of interrelated information maintained across a network on multiple servers. It creates a unified resource for anyone connected with the system to access when they need information. Numerous organizations use information repositories to handle their data and may network with others to share material as necessary. The underlying information technology may need to be very robust to handle the volume of information and requests. This term can also be used to refer to a specific kind of data management.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The information repository deposits relevant data along with meta information on a regular basis. Users who want to access the information can run a search to find material relevant to their interests. Repositories may include a variety of types of information, including images, video, and text. Users may be able to narrow searches by type to find specific materials. Access is often limited by passwords and other security measures to protect the integrity of the information and limit abuses of the system.

In the sense of an approach to data management, an information repository is a secondary storage space for data. When data is no longer needed in a primary server or facility, it can be moved to the information repository for archival purposes. This frees up room on systems in current use without destroying data that may be necessary later. The process may be automated to facilitate smooth functioning within the system and ensure that data transfers on a regular basis, rather than haphazardly.

When data enters an information repository for storage, the system can tag it with relevant information and check to see if an identical file already exists. If it does, the duplicate may be destroyed. The system will store the data as long as directed. Some periodically purge to free up space while others may be set to retain data infinitely, as long as the data remains useful and the system still functions.

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Information repositories are often established across networks and may include a mixture of computers for stability and reliability. They can automate backups to tape, disc, and other media to ensure that the data will be available if necessary. Relying solely on one data storage site can be hazardous, as any problem at that site may result in permanent data loss. Information technology personnel can program automatic backups as part of the routine maintenance to keep the system running smoothly.

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