Ten Steps to a Successful IP Surveillance Installation: Step 4

Understanding IP-based video storage and server systems, plus how to calculate storage needs

Data replication -- This is a common feature in many network operating systems. File servers in the network are configured to replicate data among each other providing a back up if one server fails (See image 3, data replication).

Tape backup -- Tape backup is an alternative or complementing method where a tape backup machine is installed on the server and records copies of all materials saved on a periodic basis, i.e. daily or weekly. There is a variety of software and hardware equipment available, and backup policies normally include taking tapes off-site to prevent possible fire damage or theft.

Server clustering -- A common server clustering method is to have two servers work with the same storage device, such as a RAID system. When one server fails, the other identically configured server takes over. These servers can even share the same IP address, which makes the so called "fail-over" completely transparent for users.

Multiple video recipients -- A common method to ensure disaster recovery and off-site storage in network video is to simultaneously send the video to two different servers in separate locations. These servers can be equipped with RAID, work in clusters, or replicate their data with servers even further away. This is an especially useful approach when surveillance systems are in hazardous or not easily accessible areas, like mass-transit installations or industrial facilities.

The variety of storage options available for IP surveillance systems makes it crucial to consider the different ways the information will be used and stored for the long term. As hard drive technology continues to advance, it is important to utilize open standards to ensure that storage is scalable and future proof. In addition, advances in IP-surveillance - such as intelligent video algorithms - will make it even more critical to select open storage devices that can handle combinations of data from different sources. Storage systems should be able to accommodate new and upcoming applications so that equipment investments are not lost as technology advances.

About the author: As the general manager for Axis Communications, Fredrik Nilsson oversees the company's operations in North America. In this role, he manages all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, business expansion and finance. He can be reached via email at fredrik.nilsson@axis.com.