Video Surveillance is proliferating in organizations both big and small around the globe. But at the same time, it is also mounting concerns from system integrators and end users about how they are going to manage this data influx in the months and years to come.
According a research commissioned by hard drives maker Seagate which mainly included integrators and IT executives in the study; over 74% of respondents said that the number of surveillance cameras being used will increase in next couple of years. Additionally, due to the demand for video analytics in the said period, the strategic value of video surveillance will also increase to many folds.
The Video Surveillance Trends Report presented by Seagate included respondents from countries like US, UK, India, China and Brazil and pressed in respondents from business verticals such as manufacturing, banking, financial services, and transportation, technology and retail sectors. The report clearly stated that most organizations belonging to the said regions were using a minimum count of 200 security cameras that are running 24/7. The said number was even higher in US and UK regions, where the medium number of security surveillance cameras was reported to be around 349. Moreover, over 34% of those surveyed said that they have significantly increased their number of surveillance cameras over the past 12 months, due to the advantages they offer, in addition to the ability of them to deter crime.
Craig Carmichael, market research analyst for Seagate, said that while they did expect to see above average growth for video surveillance data compared to the growth typically seen in the data storage market, which is usually somewhere between 20 to 40 percent, they were somewhat taken aback by the breadth of the demand for video.
Aubrey Muhlach, surveillance segment marketing manager for Seagate, said that people are also discovering how valuable this data can be, especially when advanced analytics are applied to it.
Hence, these two reasons can be termed as strong points for people retaining video for longer periods of time than they once did.
According to the Seagate study, 27% of respondents said that they are keeping video footage for a year or even longer and 23% of them admitted that they were retaining the recorded video evidence for a period of 90 days. Another 14% of them said that they hold onto footage for between 60 and 90 days, 23% keep it for 30 to 60 days and only 11% save it for less than 30 days.
Therefore, all this desire to store surveillance videos for longer periods of time could trigger immense burden on the drives storing the data.
“One of the biggest costs as people are building out their surveillance system is, in fact, the storage. One thing that we have found is a lot of people are using the cheapest drives out there to store their data, which may seem like a nice, upfront investment but what we’re seeing is an earlier failure rate of those drives,” explained Muhlach.
Mo Tahmasebi, CEO and President of DNF Security, a business unit of Dynamic Network Factory and which offers video storage solutions to mission critical video surveillance applications, strongly felt that most users of surveillance are missing the logic behind the normal and surveillance hard drives differentiation. As a result, they are typically taking desktop-class drives, plugging them into their surveillance related video management systems. But those drives aren’t built to work with these massive numbers of cameras at these high streaming capabilities – and most importantly are not built to run all day & every day.
Given that increasing camera counts will also generate more data, there were also mounting concerns among respondents about how they are going to adequately store and maintain this footage. When asked what their organization’s challenges were with using their existing primary storage media for storing surveillance footage, 47 percent said maintenance, while 44 percent said capacity. Other challenges noted by respondents included: data recovery @ 44 percent, reliability @ 40 percent, speed @ 40 percent, and cost @ 38 percent.
And a majority chunk of respondents- say 87%, said that video surveillance is becoming more challenging to manage and 94% reported that they will receive increased infrastructure investment for it. Also, the study found that most respondents are using traditional storage solutions, as well as some form of the cloud to store mission critical surveillance related video footage.
Now, the other truth which is hidden behind these concerns is that in coming years, the craze for megapixel or HD cameras will increase to many folds and wonder how integrators and users will start handling the video storage issues from then on.