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The Demands For Video Surveillance Storage

When people look to buy cameras and camera systems, they look for how the camera systems themselves work. They look at the camera’s physical facility for gathering and protecting data. They look at the camera’s VMS (virtual memory system), and what analytics they want to apply.

Throughout the process of putting together and purchasing video surveillance systems, there is one critical element most buyers are completely forgetting about. That element is video storage. Granted, the prices of data storage have been falling over the past several years, so the importance of maintaining the integrity of video surveillance data while in storage is less of a challenge, and has inadvertently become less of a priority.

There has, however, recently been a push in both public and private sectors to keep and maintain video footage for longer lengths of time, bringing the importance of video storage back to the forefront.

Video storage plays a vital role in video surveillance. Experts say that the market lacks a necessary understanding of how vital video storage is when it comes to video surveillance infrastructure. One mistake companies are making is retaining video data based on how much storage space they can afford, rather than on how much space they actually need. For example, they will use a high-performance primary disk storage for gathering data from the various networks and video recorders to which it is connected. After a time, they choose not to spend the extra money to store the data on the high-performance disk, and instead move it to a lower performance disk that is still readily accessible, but costs less.

Even with high-performance disk storage, however, the performance has repeatedly failed to meet the expectations of the users. One of the problems in the industry has been the failure of surveillance drives in the field, many of which were not designed to handle use in video surveillance.

What is happening is people are using regular desktop drives, those commonly used for household computers. These drives are designed for storing simpler data—text documents, spread sheets, photos. Companies are plugging them into video surveillance systems and expecting them to handle the stresses of these systems, running constantly to stream video data to a central location. The drives cannot handle that amount of exertion. They are failing.

With image resolution and analytics making huge leaps toward improvement, the need and expectation for video surveillance is greater than ever. Essential to maintaining the integrity of the video surveillance data, surveillance-optimized hard drives are becoming a necessity. In fact, it ought to be the very foundation of the camera systems and video surveillance process.

Some surveillance optimized drives can hold up to six terabytes of data. That’s more than six hundred hours of high-definition content. Still, data storage companies are going even further to meet the need for companies to store video surveillance data for months or even years. In addition to optimized drives, cloud services and data recovery are also becoming available.