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If all goes well, an integrity checker will never report a problem. But a non-existent or non-running integrity checker would exhibit the same behavior. So we must set up tests that ensure the integrity checker is regularly exercised. One simple way would be to put an object in the repository and purposefully corrupt it, then measure how long it takes for the integrity checker to notice.

It may be useful to have two levels of integrity checking:

  • a basic ping service that checks whether a file appears to be in place (e.g., HPSS reports that the file is there and is the correct size, but we don't take the time to download it)
  • a full checksum service that downloads a copy of the file and verifies its checksum

Other thoughts

  • We need a system to provide periodic reports on the existence of orphaned and incomplete objects, so we can keep the contents of the repository "clean".