Flexible storage for video surveillance data

21 Feb 2017

Video surveillance capabilities are helping to limit delays and keep transportation hubs like ports safe and operating efficiently

Video surveillance capabilities are helping to limit delays and keep transportation hubs like ports safe and operating efficiently

According to Wayne Arvidson, vice president, Intelligence, Surveillance and Security solutions at scale-out storage company Quantum, recent developments in camera technologies mean increased data storage requirements.

Technology enhancements such as advanced video surveillance
capabilities are helping to limit delays and keep transportation hubs like
ports safe and operating efficiently.

Better quality cameras, increasing data retention times and
more advanced analytics are transforming surveillance as we know it. They’re
enabling forward-thinking organisations to use video surveillance to drive
better business processes for an increased return on investment, as well as to
improve security.

Shipping companies and port authorities are just a couple of
businesses that can now benefit from the use of video analytics to monitor
traffic flow and improve the efficiency of movement in and out of ports.


Tracking suspicious movements before and during a security incident - or while
assembling evidence - requires a surveillance system that gives users greater
visibility with detailed video images captured over a broad viewing area.
High-definition, multifunctional cameras have replaced analogue units for new
installations, and transportation use cases almost always involve high-motion
environments. This typically results in cameras recording continuously.
Combined with the number of cameras required to capture video over large areas,
shipping organisations and port operators are faced with the need to manage
massive amounts of data.

With new threats and tightening budgets, video is being
integrated with other IT systems and advanced analytics capabilities as
organisations look to find new ways to increase efficiency, reduce congestion
and improve safety.

Longer video retention times improve the ability to perform
sophisticated analytics as trends and patterns emerge from accumulated data. As
analytics applications develop and new use cases for video are identified,
holding on to data will become even more important. There are also legal
mandates on how long data should be stored for that need to be adhered to.

However, as retention times increase, so do the challenges
of managing storage capacity. On-board camera analytics and data compression
help by reducing the volume of streaming across networks, but more storage
capacity is still needed. From a scalability perspective, the storage system
must have the capability to grow intelligently as more and more data is
captured and retained. Because organisations are increasingly collaborating
with local police and security agencies such as border control on investigations,
the ability to easily share data is critical.


As the reliance on video increases, files need to be easily retrievable by
users across an organisation, without requiring IT support. Traditional video
storage can result in silos of information that make it difficult to find the
right video to support analytics and investigations. And because these videos
might not be stored on site, retrieval can be slow, causing unnecessary delays.

A lot goes into protecting property and people, and
technology is only one small part of it. But one thing is certain: it all
requires money. And there are many competing priorities. Surveillance solutions
and supporting storage infrastructures need to be implemented so users can meet
their needs while keeping within a budget. If given the ability to manage the
movement of data quickly and seamlessly between different tiers of storage
without IT intervention, shipping companies and port organisations can lower
the cost of capturing, managing and retaining video over the long term.


A high-performance data management solution and storage architecture must be
able to handle full-resolution video streams integrated with real-time
analytics, all running at full capacity around the clock. A multi-tier storage
solution for video surveillance provides a flexible, scalable platform capable
of delivering the total usable capacity required by today’s video applications
for less of the overall budget.

Organisations are keeping as much as 40% of their inactive
data on their most expensive infrastructure. Intelligent tiered storage can
automatically migrate video to the most cost-efficient tiers of storage. This
effectively balances performance, capacity, and cost across the entire
infrastructure, providing an economical approach to long-term data retention.
Regardless of whether video is stored on high-performance disk storage,
object-based storage, file-based tape, or cloud-based storage, it can be
retained based on various policy requirements, within budget.

An incremental approach to delivering the capacity needed
for today’s video applications should also be followed. As more cameras are
added, image resolutions increase and retention times become longer, the
surveillance solution must be able to scale to handle the need for more
capacity. The solution should also be capable of handling high volumes of
streaming video from many devices without impacting on performance. And by
delivering multiple tiers of storage in a single file system, data management
is as straightforward as accessing a document on a computer’s C: drive.
Regardless of where the data resides, the user sees a single view and doesn’t
need to depend on IT support to find information.

The advantage of implementing an open solution into this
transportation environment is that it will support all major platforms,
operating systems, and networks. It will also integrate seamlessly with other
systems like video management and analytics software. This enables users to integrate
it into their ports’ existing IT infrastructure without being locked into a
single vendor or platform as well as to configure the file interface to receive
input from a variety of devices and systems.

While specific results will depend on multiple things – the
size of the port, how many ships dock or launch or how much camera coverage is
needed - implementing a multi-tier storage approach for video surveillance will
typically deliver major security, operational and business benefits to
transportation organisations.

Quantum describes itself as a leading expert in scale-out
storage, archive and data protection. The company’s data management platform
and tiered storage approach provide a unique combination of high performance,
low-cost capacity and easy access that enables security and law enforcement
professionals to address the challenges created by more cameras, higher
resolutions, and increasingly sophisticated analytics.

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