ISC West 2018: Data Storage Challenges for Video Surveillance

It’s no secret that there has been a dramatic increase in the size and amount of video surveillance data that needs to be kept—and for ever-increasing retention periods. The rapid pace of technological innovation in consumer video that gives us brilliant 4K images on our TVs also give us professional surveillance cameras that are capable of capturing the same brilliant surveillance video. But at what cost?

4K resolutions (3840×2160 pixels) carry 4 times the number of video pixels as traditional “High Definition” (1920×1080 pixels) images. The benefit of using more pixels in a single frame of video are numerous. Forensically, these resolutions benefit those who need to protect people and places, as the level of detail that such high resolutions provide can be extremely valuable. For example, higher resolutions can aid in determining not just that there is a person present in the frame, but who that person is. Further, the benefits to surveillance systems that leverage AI to determine what is happening in a frame of video will be that much more accurate due to the increased resolution.

Higher streaming bandwidth and disk space to keep that video

With increased pixel count, however, we also get significantly increased bitrates. That is, the required bandwidth of the network stream will be much higher, as will the amount of disk space required to keep that video. While newer compression technologies, such as H.265 encoding, may ultimately help to keep individual bitrates down to reasonable levels, streaming bitrate isn’t the only factor at play when it comes to how many terabytes or petabytes we need to store the video from our video surveillance system.

Retention times are also growing. State and local governments now require surveillance video at public agencies to be kept for longer and longer durations (in some case up to a year or more). Businesses are starting to keep their video for longer as well. As the cost of camera systems goes down and operators realize the benefits of video surveillance in helping to prevent costly settlements, more cameras are being deployed and the associated video is being kept for longer. What’s more, this video has become a business-critical application for many organizations. The loss of archived video could be against the law, massively expensive, or both.

Another challenge is resilience — it's way to easy to lose valuable video assets.

Another challenge is resilience — it’s way to easy to lose valuable video assets.

Highly available, and redundant video surveillance storage

The solution to simple, highly available, and redundant video surveillance storage is a shared storage solution. Dedicated shared storage solutions come in a few flavors, but Network Attached Storage (NAS) provides surveillance system operators with video storage that is redundant, flexible, and simple to use. These systems should be clustered, so many independent nodes work together to present a single shared video data repository. Thus, even it an entire node fails, no video data is lost. Clustering also gives operators the ability to expand or grow the total capacity of the system in a way that is transparent to the video surveillance application. No shutting down servers to add disks. No expanding RAID sets and volumes. Simply connect your surveillance application to the shared storage, and that’s it.

Veritas has long been a trusted leader in the data protection space and we’re excited to offer a solution for video surveillance. The Veritas Access Appliance is a network attached, shared storage platform capable of storing petabytes of video surveillance data. The Access Appliance comes in a multi-node architecture for redundancy and leverages high performance Seagate technology that has been thoroughly tested to ensure data integrity and availability for when you need it most.   Whether you need to add more capacity to your current solution, or you need to build a new solution capable of growing with your surveillance footprint, the Access Appliance can make sure that your most important surveillance assets will always be available. If you didn’t get the chance to meet us at the Seagate booth at ISC West, connect with us at Veritas and Seagate to learn more.


About the Author:

Brent Cowing
Brent Cowing is chief architect for Video Surveillance at Veritas