Case Study: Seagate Drives for Megapixel Video

Barracuda ES series used to match megapixel video recording from Avigilon

The second challenge was the resulting strain on human resources. With low-resolution cameras trying to monitor a wide field of view, the only way to capture any amount of detail is to rely on security personnel to monitor the system and zoom in on a point of interest. However, zooming in is like looking through a straw, meaning that critical information not in the area of focus can easily be missed. When trying to monitor a wide area with conventional low-resolution cameras an operator needs to know where an incident is going to happen, before it happens.

Designing for the Future

The Avigilon High Definition Surveillance System includes multi-megapixel cameras–up to 16 megapixels–and features progressive scan sensors for extreme sensitivity across the entire visible spectrum and into near infrared wavelengths. In short, Avigilon surveillance cameras have better "vision" than humans. With gigabit Ethernet, the cameras can stream image data 10 times as fast as cameras supporting 100 megabit Ethernet. Avigilon cameras can now deliver high-resolution images at a very high frame rate with lossless compression. This eliminates the loss of potential evidence and the introduction of image artifacts typically associated with lossy compression.

When a critical incident occurs, the amount of data that must be written to the HDD–and the speed with which it must occur–is tremendous. "No existing commercial hard drive storage technology was capable of the speed, capacity and reliability we required," said Pierre Parkinson, vice president of marketing and business development for Avigilon. "We knew that new HDD solutions were on the horizon, so we designed our products to easily integrate with the release of innovative technologies."

As Seagate and other vendors began shipping new HDD products, Avigilon began testing. After a four-month process, the results were clear: the Seagate Barracuda ES Series Hard Drives, part of Seagate's Surveillance Portfolio - the industry's most extensive portfolio of surveillance ready HDDs, were the most reliable. Designed for the speed, capacity and reliability required for intensive 24x7 enterprise class video surveillance, the Barracuda ES Series drives are highly scalable, with capacities ranging from 250GB to 1.0TB, with the performance benefits of the SATA interface. Additionally, Avigilon found that the playback quality–the look of the stored video as it streamed off the Barracuda ES drives–was extremely smooth.

Seagate-Powered Surveillance

The Avigilon High-Definition Surveillance System delivers the image quality necessary to effectively protect the public and ensure the security of airports, seaports, borders and train stations. The high-performance, high-capacity systems protect vital assets for the military, law enforcement, financial institutions, casinos, warehouses, transportation, and critical infrastructure such as nuclear and petrochemical plants.

Every Avigilon High-Definition Surveillance System has shipped with Seagate drives. To ensure sufficient recording time is possible, the drives are configured in fail-safe, industry-standard arrays, which ensure large volumes of data can be recorded and that the recordings are safe in the event of a hard drive failure.

"The role Seagate drives play in the total value of the High-Definition Surveillance System cannot be overstated," said Parkinson. "Our system is really a chain of technologies, and any weak link in that chain irreparably damages the data our customers are collecting. Seagate HDDs are a critical component because they are fast, provide sufficient capacity, and deliver the reliability required for protecting critical assets and infrastructure."

Utilizing the speed of Seagate drives, Avigilon is changing the way that the public can be protected. Safety levels are significantly increased with the first surveillance system that can automatically monitor a greater area without losing critical, high-resolution image detail.