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New approaches to video retention

Fortunately for the security professional, vendors are providing many flavours and approaches to video retention technology.

August 13, 2009  By Kathleen Sibley

Samsung Techwin, for example, recently debuted its SNR-6400 iPolis
network video recorder, which simultaneously records up to 64 video and
audio streams at 1280 frames per second at full D1 resolution. It
supports up to 20 TB of data.

Dave Smith, senior vice-president at Samsung Techwin, says unlike many
NVRs, Samsung’s product is not a PC. Instead, it uses an embedded
operating system, which is not on a hard drive. That means it’s less
likely to experience breakdowns and viruses, he says. As well, Samsung
Techwin doesn’t charge licence fees for cameras or connections.

“That makes things a lot simpler for users when they have to change cameras or have to transfer the licence,” Smith says.

It has three connections: one autodiscovers cameras and assigns them IP
addresses, another is dedicated to storage, and the third is connected
to the user’s network for viewing.
“The installer doesn’t have to be concerned with dividing up networks,
programming smart switches and things like that; it’s all done” he
says. “The purpose of doing that is to ensure that the bandwidth load
is primarily between cameras and storage, not between NVR playback and


“The tricky task is making sure you segregate all that high-volume
traffic from the company’s regular network and that’s where a lot of
configuration and design has to be done, so that’s what makes this
product a lot like a DVR in terms of how the installer thinks.”

Vicon, a designer and vendor of IP-based security products, is also
taking a new approach to its IP video storage products. It recently
announced it is replacing its line of RAID storage devices with new
iSCSI RAID models that use newer networking and storage technology.
Guy Arazi, digital product manager at Vicon’s Atlanta office, says the
commonly used SCSI (small computer system interface) protocol to
connect storage boxes, although efficient, was limited by the length of
the cables (a maximum of 15 feet); fibre channel allowed for much
longer distances and high bandwidth, but was much more expensive, he
iSCSI uses Ethernet protocol over the Internet, which is considerably
cheaper than fibre channel.

According to a 2008 Forrester Research report (Cost Comparison Of iSCSI
Versus Fibre Channel SAN Components), “it is generally accepted that it
is cheaper to deploy an iSCSI SAN … The cost advantage of iSCSI is so
significant in terms of server side and switch network costs that you
owe it to your budget to determine which applications would be a good
fit for this technology.“

“If you and I have a network between our offices and that network is
solid and has enough bandwidth, we can start sending storage
information in that iSCSI format over that network," Arazi says. “I can
be in Atlanta and streaming from my server to your office or wherever
over the internet or a leased line or a satellite link.”

iSCSI also increases flexibility, he says. By using iSCSI,
organizations can spread their storage over different locations to
maximize real estate.

“If (I’m using) direct attached storage, I have to run a direct pipe
between my servers and the storage unit,” says Arazi. “By creating the
network and putting them on the network cloud, I can get to more units
from more servers at the same time; I can share and take advantage of
more storage units per server without having to run dedicated lines.”

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