IT/Networking: Storage Wars!

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

Strange: “Integrators simply need to learn basic networking. Once the basics are covered (simple IP) then the rest falls into place. All of these new models still just revolve around networking. No matter the model or brand of the device, most of the configuration is getting it on the network and making sure it’s accessible.”


Q. Are camera analytics becoming more commonplace?

DeFina: “Analytics are and will be more prevalent and stronger in cameras. The reliance on DVRs and NVRs will diminish in the future.”

Folsom: “We think analytics is becoming part of any security system. Adding analytics is a force multiplier; a camera on the side of a building becomes a trespass system. Analytics has the intelligence to tell if it sees a cat or a person before sending an alarm. Even a 2,000-square-foot business with a camera and DVR can make an analytics device part of their system and, when there is a violation of their analytics, can set off an alarm or annunciator.”

Renkis: “I believe in analytics. But there is a lot of marketing fluff in the whole cloud area. I believe the ultimate solution for the next three years is cameras that record locally into a NVR and can be remotely managed from the cloud.”

Strange: “Most of your analytics boil down to motion detection. It’s setting areas where the customer isn’t concerned, blocking those out and then looking for a trigger in the other areas. The motion detection algorithm is very important to limit false alarms. It isn’t like CSI; most motion detection is just looking for a change in pixels over a certain region of the image. The analytics intelligence becomes capturing a person, but not a bird or cat.”

Ze’evi: “Analytics is not the holy grail. But it has become better with more refined engines. And there are more applications associated with analytics. So customers are figuring how to use it.”


Q. Will DVRs and NVRs be “dead” in the near future?

Caswell: “The evolution of recording servers depends most heavily on user security needs and bandwidth availability. For high-availability environments, such as critical infrastructure, large education, transportation and gaming, secure recording with a secondary disaster recovery site dictates a central application of recording servers and cost pressure is forcing those servers to be deployed as virtual servers to eliminate the cost and single point of failure inherent in physical servers. For less secure environments with lower bandwidth needs, we may see recording move to the cameras or to the cloud. The recording requirement is no less and, in fact, the NVR market will continue to grow as the overall market demand increases.”

DeFina: “Because analog products are still much simpler to install, the DVR life cycle will outlive the NVR. The NVR will fall away in the market due to the capability and power that will be built in the digital IP camera.”

Folsom: “It is going that way. At some point in the future it will be true. But, as an alarm guy, I have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each technology and where each technology fits. But, as a dealer, if it is about cost and low light, analog is a strong product.

Renkis: “Most cameras have short-time storage on an SD card. For business surveillance where just five HD cameras requiring 2 Mbps are involved, you need 10 Mbps for real-time upload of HD video. That’s a lot on today’s network.”

Strange: “They’ll never, nor they should ever, be ‘dead.’ They will just get more intelligent and then it’ll be DVRs with no coaxial ports; they’ll just be a computer for the IP cameras. I see it becoming more of a single box where the NVR and the DVR is basically the same thing. At some point it’ll just be a discussion of whether the DVR/NVR ‘box’ is lying over or sitting up. It’ll be the same guts.”

Ze’evi: “10 years ago, I was very vocal as NVRs came into the market that the DVR was dead. Today, DVRs are still a larger share than NVRs. A few lower-end applications will take video to the cloud. Over the next five years, however, we will see further moves to NVRs and hybrid systems.”


Q. Are there pitfalls to virtual storage?