IP Case in Point: Dealing with Complex and Large Video Storage Needs

Adding network video surveillance to Kentucky's Department of Juvenile Justice

Advances in network video systems, including better resolution, higher frame rate and highly-scalable systems call for increased uses of storage. The added capabilities and flexibility provided by IP surveillance systems, such as recording and saving large amounts of data on a continual basis, place greater demands on storage hardware.

The first iterations of video surveillance relied on analog systems that recorded to VHS using physical tape which would then be cataloged and stored. DVR-based systems developed and were less costly to maintain and archive, and also took up less shelf space through the use of DVDs. But higher requirements have emerged that DVR-based systems have a difficult time addressing. IP surveillance fills those needs with easily accessible digital archiving where captured video is stored onto a hard drive or in a storage array, giving the user immediate access to requested data at disk speeds. In addition, IP surveillance systems are very scalable and offer redundant systems of storage which protect valuable data from being lost.

As the benefits of IP surveillance are fully realized, more companies and organizations in the public and private sector are migrating from DVR-based systems to network video systems. In doing so, they are leveraging the power of storage solutions to maximize the efficiencies of an open system and solve challenges that DVR-based systems cannot address.

The evolution of IP surveillance constantly brings new players to the market, and as in other IT fields the emerging leaders focus on specific sectors. Storage is a discipline with very fast development cycle, and extreme reliability requirements. EMC is recognized as a market leader in the storage field with more than $10 billion in revenue and a reputation for knowing all there is to know about large storage systems. When a state government department was looking for a surveillance system with demanding storage needs, it was a natural choice to evaluate IP surveillance and EMC's solutions for it.

Case In Point

In late 2005, the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) updated an antiquated analog tape system. In doing so, they implemented an advanced network video system in order to ensure a safe environment for the treatment and education of youth committed to care, while providing increased accountability and protection of facility staff.

The DJJ had a few primary concerns as it related to their video surveillance system. First, they needed to ensure the custody, safety and treatment of the youths entrusted to them by the judicial system. In addition, they needed to maintain staff safety and aid in employee management. The final concern was related to data storage and security. Overall, the DJJ needed a system that would enable the storage of video data and the ability to access it easily and quickly. Storing a large volume of video surveillance files was as important as accessing those files in a fast turn-around emergency situation.

Before choosing a network video system, the DJJ surveyed the existing surveillance capabilities and determined that the department's needs had outgrown the installations for correctional-based management currently in place. The bulk of the system, comprised of different video solutions, was analog technology that combined analog cameras with VCR tape recorders. Some of the more recent upgrades included newer analog cameras with a digital video recorder (DVR). None of the systems were IP-based. An internal review determined that some facilities did not have any functioning video capability and those that did have video surveillance capabilities were using an archival retrieval process that was based on outdated and often inoperable technology. The existing archival processes did not allow for efficient management and retrieval of recorded incidents.

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