5 Crucial Questions Integrators Should Ask About Video Surveillance Storage

Customer’s security and surveillance requirements are progressing at an astounding rate. Only eclipsed by the nearly exponential change rate of the security and surveillance technologies and solutions.

Video surveillance storage solutions integrators must have a clear understanding of all aspects of video storage so they can offer their customers not just something that will work, but something reliable, cost-effective and specifically tailored to each customer’s needs.

It’s nearly impossible to be an expert in every area. Systems Integrators can better meet the needs of their customers by asking the right questions. Here are five crucial questions system integrators, automation contractors and access control specialists need to ask before they choose a security and surveillance storage partner.

How will the system scale?

As system integrators tailor video surveillance storage solutions to customers’ needs, the correct system architecture takes into account the customers’ needs, including the ability to grow — or shrink — with the customer’s business and with ever-changing technology. Regardless of the current size of the video surveillance and security project, you can be assured that clients’ requirements will change or evolve. They will add more cameras, higher bandwidth and additional security

and analysis applications and the video surveillance storage capacity requirements will grow dynamically.

What is the right balance of capacity to performance ?

When security system integrators begin designing a video surveillance storage solutions for their customers, they often focus primarily on raw storage capacity without factoring in data throughput, performance, data protection and data resiliency. Security systems integrators need to be extremely mindful of total system performance when they work on providing video surveillance storage solutions for their customers. It’s a recipe for disaster to cram a hundred high bandwidth  IP cameras into a DVR appliance, ensure the Video Management Software has the right licenses and the storage solution has the needed capacity only to encounter a minor write error or a hard drive failure and have the system start dropping video feeds and losing data.


How long is the video required to be retained?

Retention time has a dramatic impact on the amount of storage needed. The longer an agency plans to keep the video footage, the more storage capacity it will need. And of course the higher the resolution and frame rate goes the total capacity goes up exponentially.

Due to modern regulations and pressing litigation issues, retention time is increasing across almost every industry. In 2016, Georgia passed HB 976, which requires law enforcement agencies to retain video from body-worn and vehicle-mounted devices for a minimum of 180 days. California is expected to double their retention time requirements as well and most other states are expected to follow suit. In addition, any video recording related to a criminal investigation or pending litigation must be retained for 30 months.

When determining retention-time policies for video surveillance, complying with regulations is one important consideration, but it’s not the only one. In some sectors, such as law enforcement and retail, the value of video increases as people and patterns are observed over longer periods of time. Be sure to consider longer-term video storage needs when making retention policy decisions. Err on the side of more capacity is better. Remember the old age ” Data expands to fit the available storage.”

What else will the customers be running on the video data?

IP Camera technology is becoming ever more advanced with higher-resolution capability, panoramic viewing, onboard analytics and integrated audio, chemical, infrared and thermographic sensors. Greater numbers of sophisticated cameras result in a growing volume of streaming video that must be ingested and stored. Add in the increasing usage of 15-24 FPS recording rates for regulatory and litigation reasons multiplied by an explosion of other data points and you have an exponentially growing data storage and access problem. Where will this video be stored, and how much capacity is needed?

Additional analytics or data added to the security and surveillance system has the potential to dramatically change the performance, cost and problems of any video surveillance storage system. Video footage is data, similar to other forms of data, yet it has its own unique challenges that smart integrators know can make or break their proposed solution. Choose your storage partner wisely.

What mediums are best?

Storage typically accounts for up to 60 percent of the typical budget for video surveillance systems. That’s because many agencies choose high-performance disk or flash for its price/performance strength and instant access characteristics. Always think in terms of tiered storage in order to keep costs in line while performance remains high. Good storage companies will recommend a hybrid tiered storage approach that allows flexible use of ultra high performance flash storage + both high performance enterprise SAS disk drives and mid range STA capacity drives. A good design principle is to size disk and flash storage to meet ingest performance requirements and short to mid-term retention needs and then build long-term retention capacity using disaster recovery backup appliances, tape or cloud. That approach minimizes storage costs while still delivering the performance needed.


Focus on what you do best.

Whether it’s enhancing border protection or airport security, video surveillance is a vital tool for law enforcement and other government officials. Expanded use of more powerful cameras, combined with new video analytics, offers a powerful way to improve security.

However the myriad array of new capabilities and applications can quickly bring a poorly optimized storage solution to its knees, and your firm left holding the bag. Don’t risk your hard-earned business. Partner with a Security and Surveillance storage expert. Be the hero to your customers.


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