The world of enterprise video-surveillance storage has changed much over the past 15 years: first from VHS to the DVR; later to IP solutions, with customers choosing NVRs, IP SANs or even server storage devices. Could cloud be the next generation in video-surveillance storage?
A cloud based solution is very appealing to enterprise customers because it offers flexibility to customers who pay only for what they use. Cloud also offers efficiency to companies who can save on the power, cooling, and management costs of their own datacentres. Customers have two options for going to the cloud: public or private.
William Rhodes, market analyst with U.K.-based IMS Research says, “It is early days for enterprise customers to use public cloud-based video-surveillance solutions; one recent trend is to using off-site backup of ‘critical’ or ‘sensitive’ cameras. For many enterprise customers, local storage with off-site backup is the only cloud- based option available, because bandwidth restricts the number of cameras on a single internet connection.”
Most enterprise customers store video-surveillance data at full frame rate for 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on requirements. However, many customers and certain enterprise sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, are often required to store the video data for up to five years, albeit at a lower frame rate. Storing video for longer has often required users to use tape or vast quantities of HDDs to cover against failure. A public cloud solution could be the answer, because backup of lower frame rate video is achievable with the available bandwidth. Despite this, customers may have concerns over privacy of the video data and the absence of major brand service providers in the market.
Rhodes continues “The other option for enterprise customers to take advantage of cloud-based video-surveillance storage is to use a private cloud. Although users may need to take on the cost of managing a private cloud, they will have greater control over security policies and system flexibility. The ability to control the video data internally is an important consideration for some users.”
Will enterprises need enough storage to justify using a private cloud? If only video-surveillance data is stored, a private cloud may only be used on some of the largest enterprise projects. However, with an increasing number of governments and multi-national companies installing private clouds for internal data storage, storing data from the video-surveillance system in the same cloud could be a logical choice.