Fedora 6.0: A Migration Story – The Berlin State Library

Last month we hosted the first of two Online Fedora User Group Meetings. This first meeting was held to accommodate users in European time zones and brought together members of the community to share use cases, ask questions and present on the progress being made within their institutions. Over 2 half-day sessions, we gained valuable insight into user stories and saw some very encouraging results from those who have undertaken the migration process and begun testing.

Today I want to share with you a migration success story that came out of these User Meetings from the Berlin State Library.  Dr. Oliver Schöner was gracious enough to volunteer his time to answer some questions and share with you his experience migrating his repository.

Berlin State Library website can be found here: https://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de. 

You can view Oliver’s presentation from the Online Fedora User Group Meetings here, or see the slide presentation here.

Tell me your name? Where do you work and what is your title?

“My name is Dr. Oliver Schöner, and I am working at the Berlin State Library as Administrator für virtuelle Fachbibliotheken – what you could translate as Manager for Digital Specialized Libraries.”

How long have you or your institution been a Fedora user?

“In 2016, we decided to introduce Fedora 4. Since then we built up several, mainly internal, repositories.”

What front-end are you using?

“Mainly Samvera, Hyrax or even none.”

How big a repository did you migrate?

“Around 30,000 documents.”

Tell me about your migration – The Lightning Round:

  • What version of Fedora did you start at?
    • 4.5.1
  • What version of Fedora was your end goal?
    • 6
  • What kind of prep work, if any, did you do before migrating?
    • Read some documentation, provide a test environment.
  • How long did it take?
    • Technically a few hours, but in reality several weeks.
  • Is it still an on-going process?
    • Yes, insofar Fedora 6 is in beta phase.  We still have to migrate the productive instance.

Did you run in to any problems during the migration? If so, what were they and were you able to resolve them?

“The documentation of such a process never can be exhaustive, so at some point there was just missing a flag for a command line tool or a minor bug in the Fedora 6 alpha or beta migration and import and export programs. And yes, we could overcome all these problems.”

What tools/resources did you find most helpful or useful during your migration?

“The tools provided by Fedora were of course the most important. Good knowledge of Linux systems and the command line is helpful, too, and the communication channels of the Fedora community.”

What advice can you offer to others preparing to migrate?

“Don’t hurry, then you are going faster. And ask the community.”

What are your plans for the future?

“Migrating other – and bigger – repositories. As well check the possibilities of side loading in Fedora 6. We have so many resources that should enter a repository not one after another, but just right now, immediately!”

With the success of Oliver’s migration, we’ve seen positive signs that the hard work the tech team has invested in creating the right tooling to support migrations has paid off. We have always understood that migrations are costly and time consuming, so one of the cornerstones of Fedora 6 was to offer users robust migration support and documentation to help navigate this process. Oliver also credits the community with providing the help and guidance he needed when he was faced with issues. Without the help of others, things may not have gone as smoothly. 

Fedora 6.0 is currently in the Beta phase and we are encouraging institutions to download, test and provide feedback so that the team can ensure the software is ready to go before production release. If your institution is currently running the Beta, we would love to hear about it and your experiences. Please see the links below for more details on where to provide this information.

Thank you Oliver and the Berlin State Library for your time and sneak peak into your migration progress!

Here is a list of resources mentioned in The Berlin State Library’s Migration Story for reference:

And as always, Fedora is a community-supported program funded entirely by membership contributions from institutions within our community. This funding supports staff to work on developing, teaching, engaging and supporting Fedora users across the globe and providing opportunities like this User Meeting to our community. Find out how you can get involved by becoming a member today!