The surveillance market, storage and your options

Vassen Naicker, DCC

Vassen Naicker, Western Digital product Specialist at Drive Control Corporation (DCC), talks about the latest developments in the digital surveillance market and the management of video data.

A report by IMS Research, released two years ago, said that the World Market for External Storage Used for Video Surveillance’ predicted that by 2012, 3.3 exabytes of storage will be needed to store digital video from a new surveillance deployment.

Two years down the line and it would seem that this predication remains relevant and accurate. The video surveillance market, driven by the rapid advancement of technologies such as IP TV, has become a bona fide storage market to play in, with potential for strong business success.

A phenomenal amount of data and external storage will play a key role in managing this information. As increasing amounts of video surveillance moves onto the network, boasting formats and equipment that record in, among others, high resolution, the resultant need for storage capacity is sky rocketing.

Key to this evolution has been video surveillance’s shift from analogue to digital and from primarily tape-based systems to hard drives. In turn this has allowed for the deployment of software to analyze high resolution images, greatly improving the impact of surveillance in today’s challenging security climate.

When looking at some of the foremost developments as a result of digitized surveillance IP Video Surveillance, wireless networking, higher resolution colour systems, biometrics, smart sensors and intelligent networks are definitely important technologies to highlight.

Again, the above mentioned require huge amounts of storage and hard drives engineered to thrive in a high duty cycle system. Moreover, these storage systems need to offer both the capacity and a low cost per gigabyte.

Typically, one camera recording continuously x 1 Mbps x 1/4 of a year will require 1TB of storage. Quite obviously, this figure grows the more cameras you add, creating large storage space requirements.

And whilst digital video surveillance systems are used in a myriad of environments such as banking, entertainment and retail, it is more beneficial to utilize hard drives built specifically for surveillance applications, therefore, offering enhanced reliability and capacity.

Practically, today’s surveillance hard drive should enable IPTV, IP Video Surveillance, CCTV and SDVR (Speaker-Dependent Voice Recognition) to deliver a range of features and capabilities, such as high resolution image quality, streaming video for cameras and video archiving with ultra-fast data access and on-demand video playback.

As mentioned, surveillance solutions also require more gigabyte for less money. Fortunately, there are today greener alternatives out there that significantly drive down the amount of power used, therefore, saving on high energy bills and doing its bit for the environment.

Typically, the latest enterprise-class drives would offer 2 TB of capacity coupled with 64MB cache, dual processor and significant real density. Throw in some significant energy savings, and you have one mean hard drive to meet your surveillance requirements.

Moreover, these drives also offer mind boggling reliability – reliability-rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) in high duty cycle environments.

With this all said, it is possible to build surveillance storage systems that do meet all the needs for high capacity, consistent performance while driving down costs and keeping trend with the predicted 3.3 exabyte storage in two years time.