IT/Networking: Storage Wars!

Here's our update on DVRs, NVRs, clouds and virtual storage

DVRs, NVRs, the clouds and virtual storage are the prevailing options today and each has its features and challenges. There is talk that eventually all storage will go to the clouds. Some technologies offer a hybrid approach. Others feature analytics for smart recording. What is the best approach for your surveillance customers? We asked several leading industry experts for their input on this timely topic.


Q .What are the hot trends in storage?

Lee Caswell, founder and chief strategy officer, Pivot3: “Customers are excited about the convergence of storage with servers to minimize power, cooling, rack space and cost. The latest industry name for this trend is hyper-converged infrastructure, where we lead the application of this to the unique requirements of the surveillance market.”

Frank DeFina, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing, Samsung: “At the higher end, we are being asked for a more secure storage with no point of failure. Features of Raid 5e and Raid 6e are becoming more standard for large project opportunities. The ability to have a full backup on complete servers instead of one or two hard drives allows customers a fail-safe method of keeping IP solutions intact 24/7. On the other end we see demand for storage built into the edge of camera products. With the new intro of the XC format for SD cards the maximum storage capacity has gone from 32GB to 2TB. This technology now allows camera manufacturers to put more features and capabilities at the edge and in the future eliminate NVRs completely.”

Larry Folsom, president and co-founder of I-View Now and American Video and Security Ltd.: “We are seeing the commodization of analog. From the end-use perspective, devices just show up as cameras. On the IP side, remote storage in the cloud is becoming more affordable. Edge devices have more intelligence.”

Martin Renkis, founder and CEO of Smartvue Corp.: “I believe hybrid solutions will own a big piece of the market for quite a long time.”

Ryan Strange, president, ControlByNet: “Certainly cloud and on-camera storage continue to see market growth. The ability to secure data by removing it from a central computer or DVR is becoming more of an attractive option for businesses.”

Shahar Ze’evi, senior product manager for Tyco Security Products: “Storage has become bigger—more capacity—and cheaper. That allows customers to record more video with higher resolution. Meantime, the units themselves have a smaller footprint so you can have more storage inside the box.”


Q. What kinds of expertise/installation tips, do integrators need to have to effectively specify these devices today?

Caswell: “The beauty of converged infrastructure is that it does not require surveillance integrators to become experts on proprietary storage technologies used in IT, such as Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, Host Bus Adapters and LUN zoning. These technologies require intensive training and are routinely managed in large enterprises by storage administrators who make more than a director of surveillance. Converged infrastructure leverages familiarity with servers, Ethernet networking and Microsoft so that the high performance and high availability can be deployed and managed by server administrators.”

DeFina: “IP integrators need to rely on companies that have supporting tools available for bandwidth calculations and storage solutions readily available locally and on their site. Relying on formidable companies allows the integrator to feel comfortable in the accuracy of their project. Utilizing products that have key features like auto-focus can minimize time on site and keep installation costs down dramatically.”

Folsom: “Do a speed test at every single demo—an upload\download analysis. We will not take a contract if there is not a site sketch and a speed test. Go to a free site like That’s when your client finds his DSL link is too slow. But it prevents the customer from being let down later when you discover his site is not a viable cloud location.”

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