"The increase in video quality and the trend towards greater retention times could well be the largest contributors to exploding storage requirements,” says Curt Wittich, VP of Strategic Markets at Quantum
. While adding 20 percent more cameras of like type results in requiring 20 percent more storage, going from 30 days to 60 days retention doubles the amount of storage required. When the storage requirements increase by magnitudes it will demand new technologies to be able to enable this increase. asmag.com talked with Curt Wittich to gain insight into the technology trends that will continue driving the video surveillance storage market and the choices security integrators need to balance when choosing a provider.
Q: What changes or developments in storage technology, or technology in general, do you think will impact video surveillance storage the most? (E.g. cloud, edge storage, new storage technology being developed now)
A: While the proliferation of high-resolution cameras continues, there is also a trend to require longer and longer retention times for video as well as analytics
metadata. This combination puts even more pressure on the cost, scalability, and manageability of storage solutions for video surveillance. While the continued increase in drive capacities helps with this, new technologies will be needed to put these capabilities on a new curve. Object storage and cloud storage are the most likely candidates for this. For larger video surveillance deployments, the cost of bandwidth to transfer video to the cloud is prohibitive, so the demand for reliable and scalable on-site storage will continue to grow.
Cloud storage remains an emerging technology for surveillance. There remain concerns around cost, manageability, and security with cloud storage. Object storage is a proven technology that has had slow adoption for surveillance because of the incompatibility of the native S3 interface. Quantum has solved that problem with its StorNext technology in conjunction with its ActiveScale object storage as proven with a 40PB implementation at a major airport in Asia.
Q: What should security managers understand and focus on when selecting a storage solution as part of their surveillance infrastructure?
A: One of the key criteria is the tradeoff between buying a video optimized solution from a smaller video focused company vs. buying datacenter optimized solutions from a large stable company and trying to use it for surveillance video. Because video surveillance data is so different from datacenter data, solutions that are optimized for video surveillance provide the most cost effective and resilient surveillance solutions. In particular, they are designed to handle large amounts video ingest and writes to storage, eliminating frame loss. Datacenter solutions that are used for video surveillance require significant over-provisioning and thus are much higher in cost to handle these peaks. These datacenter solutions are also intended to be deployed and managed by highly skilled IT professionals.
Q: One of the video-focused companies, Pivot3, recently let go of most of its employees, do you see any risks to other storage providers in the security industry?
A: Consolidation has been ongoing in the fragmented physical security market for years. The current global crisis will likely accelerate that. Any time a smaller company pulls back in the market there is a natural tendency by customers to re-evaluate the risk/reward of dealing with smaller companies and a trend to then rely more on the larger, more stable companies. So, yes, the economic challenges combined with risk aversion will be a challenge for smaller companies.
Q: From a business point of view, is it possible to rely only on video surveillance as a target market? Or storage companies have to develop an offering for other verticals as well?
A: This is the major challenge faced by companies in this market. Most of the smaller companies in this market don’t even address the full surveillance market. They tend to have solutions that only address a sweet spot of the market for their technology, whether that be the lower end NVR market, or the larger shared storage market, or the limited hyperconverged market, or something in between. Since video surveillance data is so different from typical data processed in the datacenter, it’s not a natural transition to apply surveillance optimized solutions to other markets. In addition, the buyers, resellers, and technology partners in the surveillance market for the most part remain very different from those in the datacenter or other markets.
Q: What’s unique in Quantum’s line of surveillance solutions? What do you see is the key differentiators for your solution?
A: Quantum brings significant value to security integrators with the most complete portfolio of solutions from any single provider, scalability from ten cameras to thousands of cameras with solutions optimized for every scale. Quantum also provides the most current hardware platform for the solutions resulting in the longest life cycle for their projects. At the individual product level, with the largest capacity NVRs as well as options for object storage, tape, and public cloud, Quantum provides the most cost-effective, reliable and scalable solutions for PB scale implementations.