Panelists tout value of hybrid cloud video surveillance in webinar
In video surveillance, users are increasingly faced with a set of challenges including increased camera counts and longer video data and retention. These challenges can be addressed with hybrid cloud solutions, which are gaining traction among video surveillance users. This article takes a closer look, based on a recent webinar held by Milestone Systems, Quantum and Tiger Surveillance.
Needless to say, video surveillance is an important part in security. While benefits of video surveillance are manifold, users are also faced with more and more challenges. These include requirement to keep an off-site data copy for compliance, rapidly increasing number of cameras with higher resolution and frame rates, need to maintain operational continuity and eliminate downtime, and increased video retention periods of many months or even years.
“For a while it was ok to keep your video for a week. Then 30 days became a standard and still is for many organizations. But we’re seeing an increasing number of organizations where 30 days is not enough. We’re seeing organizations saying we need to keep video for at least six months, at least a year, at least five years, or the dreaded ‘f’ word – forever,” said Matt Stoller, Area Director for Technical Sales and System Engineering at Quantum.
According to Stoller, these challenges can be addressed with a hybrid cloud solution, which is optimized for long-term video retention and scalability without disruption.
What is hybrid cloud
Hybrid cloud combines on-premises and cloud systems to form a solution that includes the best of both worlds. In a hybrid cloud architecture, on-site equipment typically includes: a video management software application that manages, records and views video; a server that runs the VMS; as well as an intelligent data mover, or bridge, that replicates older video to the cloud. The cloud can be either private or public. With hybrid cloud, the more recent video can be stored onsite first and pushed to cloud archives at a later time for long-term storage. The user meanwhile can access video wherever it’s stored at any time, any place.
According to Stoller, a hybrid cloud solution should have the following characteristics: ease of use, where all components are designed to work together; high performance and resilience, where rapid access to video and zero frame loss can be achieved; high scalability, where adding capacity can be done easily and instantaneously; and cost-effectiveness, where long-term storage costs can be reduced.
Joint solution as an example
Bernard Lamborelle, VP of Technology at Tiger Surveillance, cites the example of a joint hybrid cloud solution from Milestone, Tiger Surveillance and Quantum. Milestone XProtect records video to Quantum’s on-prem high availability server/storage, while Tiger Surveillance’s bridge sends Milestone video archives to a private or public cloud. Tiger’s XProtect VMS plug-in can monitor, track and make cloud-based video available in Milestone XProtect, as if it were on-prem.
Such a solution offers various benefits to users, who can get best-in-class technologies to ensure seamless video recording, protection and transfer. Scalability is another benefit of the solution, which supports more cameras, higher resolution, increased frame rates and longer retention periods. In terms of flexibility, video can be extended into any storage tier, including low-cost archive tiers. This then enables cost-effectiveness for users who can save up to 80 percent in storage costs with active and cold storage tiers.
The solution also allows resilience, with automatic Milestone recording and management server failover, and further protects recorded video and immediate video access against catastrophic hardware failure. Further, it protects video archives on- or off-premises against ransomware.
Hybrid cloud can be beneficial for end user entities of different types and sizes. Stoller shared use cases where the hybrid solution is deployed.
“A hospital with few branches has a total of 350 cameras – they can run an HCI (hyper-converged infrastructure) in every branch with a modest amount of local storage. As there’s a limited amount of local storage, the video gets pushed into a remote centralized data center. There are other customers such as an airport that has hundreds of cameras that are also being recorded on the HCI, but in their case they’re basically leveraging a public cloud. The idea is that they are pushing the data to the cloud so they don’t need that infrastructure on their premises,” Stoller said. “For larger customers we have entire cities with thousands of cameras that are pushing data to a private data center. The solution is extremely scalable, and the price point and cost is very attractive for all these types of solution.”
Video surveillance is constantly evolving. Requirements to keep video longer, coupled with the emergence of higher-resolution cameras, are increasingly straining users’ storage resources. While cloud can solve this problem somewhat with its infinite storage, for most users keeping the more recent and critical video footage onsite is still preferable. In this regard, hybrid cloud becomes a viable option, and the solution offered by Milestone, Quantum and Tiger Surveillance is an example of how hybrid cloud can meet users’ more complex needs.
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