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How to Manage Video Storage

Digested From “How to Manage Video Storage”
Buildings (09/01/14) Morton, Jennie

Today's security systems have the same sophistication as building automation systems, and property managers and operations staffers must have a firm handle on this technology. For instance, video storage for surveillance cameras has changed greatly over the last decade or so. Rich Cecchini, a storage expert with Seneca, notes, "Now we use disk arrays that can hold 1,000 times the capacity of the old [cassette] options and have instant access to recorded video." He adds that advancements in video storage have resulted in changes in security video management software. Such tools allow network-connected digital cameras to use traditional network infrastructure, which greatly reduces operating expenditures for surveillance.  Jonathan Lewit, senior product manager with Pelco by Schneider Electric, a surveillance solution provider, adds, "The size of a single hard disk drive (HDD) has increased dramatically, making 4-, 5- and even 6-terabyte drives fairly common these days. A decade ago, an entire digital video recorder (DVR) might approach that kind of data with multiple disks." Today, owners and operators have the ability to store higher resolution videos at closer to real-time frame rates. Meanwhile, there is an increasingly wide array of internal and embedded storage options.

The question then becomes: "How does a building owner decide which storage option is the best fit?" There are a number of factors that can be combined for the right solution. Cecchini says bandwidth should be a big consideration. "Generally speaking," he states, "higher total camera bandwidth generates higher storage requirements. While capacity, storage periods, and scalability are part of the equation, performance has to be considered as well." Bandwidth on the camera side can impact the server and storage performance requirements. Video frame loss will happen if the storage subsystem is too slow. "Even worse," Cecchini concludes, "huge chunks of video can be lost and system crashing can occur if the problem is acute."

Brent Sobol, owner of the Atlanta-based Happy Home Communities says that while technology is the future of crime prevention in apartments, there are other issues owners need to consider. "Most businesses have no idea how to properly store the footage so that it is accessible when they need to," he said. Sobol also said that owners should be sure to think about how they will properly access and share video footage when an incident occurs. 

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