“Hybrid is the most flexible storage choice for surveillance data”

|May 19, 2016 0
Image courtesy of TeddyBear at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Soma Tah

As the adoption of video surveillance across organizations grows significantly and they become aware of the strategic importance of video analytics to their businesses, they face a new set of challenges also in storing and managing the massive volume of raw video footage generated. We spoke to Rajesh Khurana, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Seagate Technology to understand the challenges associated with the traditional storage architecture and how organizations can plan and design their surveillance data storage infrastructures in the most cost-efficient way possible.

What kind of infrastructure challenges do the CIOs face as they deal with an increasing volume of video surveillance data?

The rising need for better security is the prime motivator leading to the upsurge in video surveillance data. As organizations start realizing the real value derived from high-end video analytics performed on the increasing volumes and variety of data that they are generating, they will start adopting a new class of technologies required to process, discover, and analyze massive volumes of video data that cannot be dealt with using traditional databases and architectures.

The need for advanced and efficient storage has made the CIO’s role more challenging than before. Gathering and storing data in a safe and secure framework is also crucial for today’s CIOs. Thus, it becomes increasingly important for CIOs to work out a framework; be it on-premise, in the cloud or a hybrid solution to store raw video data that can be used for various purposes.

What would be the impact of public safety measures on their storage decisions?

According to Seagate’s Video Surveillance Trend Report, the top application of video surveillance is to ensure safety and security in organizations. Other applications include: reducing loss and theft, vandalism prevention, monitoring employee activity, optimizing work flows, protection from litigation, harassment prevention, regulatory compliance, and employee training.

Organizations in India typically use an average of 249 cameras for the execution of the above mentioned applications. These applications generate vast amounts of data, and need to be stored and analyzed in order to be leveraged for future use. Therefore, it becomes crucial for organizations to ensure a robust data protection framework is in place to prevent data loss caused by computer viruses or natural disasters or any sort of illegal tracking of data.  The data recovery plan provides the CIOs extra peace of mind that their invaluable data are well protected, enabling them to meet industry regulations or leverage the data for security.

What makes more sense for video analytics- cloud storage or on-premises?

It has become an increasingly challenging task for organizations to determine whether to keep their surveillance data on-premise or in the cloud. This is not a straightforward decision as storage is the foundation layer of any analytics solution.

On-premise solutions are still considered to be the primary consideration, as organizations prefer not to put their data up on an open platform  for security concerns. However, very few companies have the capacity and space to keep data stored on their own premises. Expanding capacity on-site can be a costly and tedious affair as IT managers will have to source for new drives and servers and retrofit them into their existing systems and architecture.

As a result, many companies may opt to purchase the large capacity surveillance storage solutions from the start to reduce the frequency of upgrading the systems in future. Some companies may also choose to store the footage that might only be reviewed at a much later date in cold storage drive, to move the ‘cold video’ away from the surveillance system.

Some may move their data at least partially to the cloud. The benefits of the option include quicker migration and back-up of data, and reduced costs. However considerations for data security and accessibility need to be factored in to ensure that access to potentially sensitive data is restricted to certain users. Security is also paramount to ensure data stored in the cloud is not illegally hacked into and stolen.

Many organizations who deal with operations that cater to public safety and confidential transactions tend to opt for on-premise storage. It’s always a safe option to go for on-premise solutions with cloud or cold storage as an alternative or back-up. It will safeguard an organization’s assets while allowing for future growth. This approach is often more cost-effective, provides greater security, and simplifies application integration.

What kind of challenges does this pose to conventional storage vendors?

Vendors have to restructure their offerings to meet the requirements of the customers with a clear understanding of the pricing implications associated with long-term storage and how quickly one will need the access to data. Every department has different requirements and regulations and the vendors must understand both the options for storage architecture as well as the surveillance product lifecycle before moving forward with a solution to fit the customer needs.

It has become inevitable for vendors to offer on-premise primary storage requirements, but using the cloud or cold storage solution for cold data is equally important. The cloud provides a relatively elastic storage platform that easily expands as data volumes grow.

For surveillance-specific industries, hybrid architectures offer the most flexibility to address the surveillance data storage needs. Besides addressing the rapid capacity expansion need, a hybrid storage architecture will also help organizations manage data from a host of applications like the crime lab, digital evidence, surveillance, recognition, crime scene footage, an d many more.

How are you handholding the customers in this scenario?

Seagate has been in the surveillance domain for over a decade now. As the first hard drive manufacturer to develop a surveillance-focused drive, Seagate has been helping customers match need with function, while offering scalable solutions as their businesses grow. The most recent introduction in this category is the world’s first 8TB Surveillance HDD, the largest drive of its kind for surveillance applications in the industry.

The Seagate Surveillance HDD 8TB is built to meet the growing storage and access needs of SMBs and large enterprises. This high capacity surveillance drive can serve as a critical component to CIOs to ensure successful, scalable, and reliable solutions for the business. Engineered to run 24×7, the 3.5-inch drive can store over 800 hours of high-definition (HD) content captured by up to 64 cameras simultaneously recording HD content.

In case of any damage or system-level failure, the Seagate Rescue services can typically restore data within two weeks depending on the type of recovery, with up to a greater than 90 percent success rate in data recovery.

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