The Business Case for Hosted Video Storage

Security professionals today have witnessed an astronomical explosion of data. The increasing volume and detail of information — “big data” — captured by enterprises is serving as an opportunity for security integrators, channel companies and manufacturers to offer storage solutions, and this competition is driving innovation.

The extraordinary growth of video surveillance data in particular has created an imperative need to store, manage and secure that data for a variety of reasons, whether for a short time, or due to company and/or legal compliance requirements, several years.

With the growth of video, the viability of traditional DVRs and NVRs with local storage is breaking down. While many expect improvement in compression standards, the growth in the number of cameras, resolution and retention times will continue to drive the need for more scalable and reliable storage.


Decentralized Data Storage

Hosted, cloud-driven software, platforms and infrastructure services are expected to drive much of the growth in video surveillance, resulting in substantial cost savings and spurring a transition from internal to external storage.With advantages in processing and storage quantity, external storage platforms compare favorably to DVRs, NVRs and other internal storage platforms.

Today’s network storage devices include features such as: high-capacity storage that is expandable per device; RAID protection against hard drive failure and loss of data; device-to-device replication; remote access; support for universal plug-and-play camera recognition and management; small to large camera count support; and even cloud backup options using a service provider.

By incorporating desktop or rackmount network storage devices with video surveillance management software, cost-conscious organizations, small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), distributed enterprises and remote offices can implement desired video solutions. Often cloud-based or hosted, these solutions eliminate DVRs, reducing onsite infrastructure cost for small camera deployments.

Two emerging network options for storing, managing and securing video surveillance data include: Integrated Video Management Systems (IVMS), which blend network storage with video management software and IP cameras for integrated, low-cost surveillance; and Hosted Video Surveillance Solutions (HVSS), which leverage cloud storage and browser-based video management system interfaces.


Integrated Video Management

An integrated video management system uses smart network storage with embedded or PC-based third-party management software and IP cameras for a low-cost solution. With dependable storage capacity, security and compatibility, IVMS deliver flexibility for SMBs and others with limited IT and surveillance support. Mobile device applications enable surveillance administrators to access video feeds anywhere.

Many network storage devices support embedded and PC-based third-party VMS applications, which may support up to 24 cameras per site, and hundreds of different camera models.

Some network-attached storage devices also include management software that enables users to manage video while simultaneously storing it.


Hosted Surveillance Solutions

A hosted video surveillance solution taps the power of cloud storage for organizations that need to manage and secure increasing amounts of video data. The hosted approach combines browser-based video management system interfaces with the reliability and accessibility of network storage.

With a hosted system, a business can take advantage of proven cloud storage technology to deliver cost savings without compromising performance, capacity or security. Using a cloud storage service provider in tandem with a network storage device and integrated video management software enables users to record and store high definition video locally while also providing economical access to standard resolution video stored securely in the cloud.

Users can remotely access HD files as well as data in the cloud anywhere there is a network connection.

Reducing the need for upfront capital investment, this hybrid model appeals to SMBs and organizations with remote offices like retail stores and banks. It uses a scalable architecture with small monthly operating expenses.

Network storage products can support small- to medium-sized camera counts, enabling users to record and store HD video locally while placing low-res versions in the cloud. The solution provides flexible recording and retention policies, and provides remote viewing capability through smart phones and other web-based devices.

End-users can augment their hosted solutions with low-cost local network attached storage (NAS) to prevent the loss of critical recording and an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) to protect against power outages. When Internet connectivity is restored, the NAS can automatically stream the stored video to the cloud for off-site archiving.

Hosted video solutions cost a fraction of standard DVR/NVR deployments. Video monitoring and smart storage solutions are embedded into many leading storage options, eliminating the need for separate PCs/servers, operating systems and VMS applications. Additionally, end-users get a full-featured network storage device that can handle other data storage activities.


Hosted Video Models

Scalable HVSS are ideal for businesses with less than 250 users and for distributed enterprises seeking affordable, reliable video storage and management.

The Small Business Model: Hosted video is ideal for businesses looking for a storage system that can meet required entry costs, yet can expand as business and surveillance needs grow. Law firms, accounting offices, home offices, restaurants and retail chains with small IP camera counts can use NAS combined with IP cameras at the front door, back door, cash drawer and the dining area/waiting room, to be a secure solution. This entry-level solution can be implemented for less than $1,500.

Distributed Enterprise/Remote Office Model: Distributed enterprises or remote offices with multiple entryways require more than a few IP cameras. These companies need larger-capacity network storage devices with features to support larger camera counts, combined with a cloud service provider to enable a user to locally store HD files while storing standard definition files in the cloud. In this case, network storage devices would be in the price range of $1,000 for a 4TB unit.


Mike Nikzad is the chief operating officer of the iomega Corporation, an EMC Company. For more information on iomega, please visit our buyer’s guide