Seagate storage solutions for safe city initiatives

Seagate storage solutions for safe city initiatives
Safe city projects are being rolled out all over the world amid concerns over security and increased urban migration, making it a key vertical for surveillance markets in China and the U.S. Storage is an important aspect of these projects, as increasing amounts of data are collected and kept for longer periods of time — for investigative purposes or in compliance with certain laws. Also, the convergence of applications like facial recognition, license plate recognition and deep learning is highlighting the need to securely store the data for analysis and tagging.

Seagate Technology, a market leader in video surveillance storage solutions, is well-versed on these pain points, as it has been involved in various safe city projects in countries like China, Singapore, India and the Middle East.

“In Asian countries, especially in China, the requirements for safe city projects are particularly high because a lot of the applications are interconnected. In many cases, these systems are also connected with various agencies,” said Danny Lim, Global Video Surveillance Sales Lead for Seagate Technology. “Huge amounts of data is being collected and shared every day in real time. High-tech storage solutions are a necessity for them to gain insights from the data and perform big data analysis.”

With a comprehensive product portfolio ranging from Seagate’s SkyHawk drives and Seagate Enterprise drives to high density storage systems like IP SAN and JBOD, Seagate is well-positioned to deliver solutions that optimize the storage footprint of data centers.

“Seagate is no longer just a hard drive manufacturer. We are now capable of offering a total solution and enabling high capacity storage for larger-scale deployments such as safe city projects,” said Lim. “We support our partners through delivering optimized solutions for backend recording with VMS of choice for longer retention. At the same time, we work with leading major video surveillance manufacturers who deliver their NVR/DVR recording devices with our optimized HDDs at host sites.”

High Performance Storage

A major feature in all safe city projects is the round-the-clock recording of hundreds or thousands of high definition cameras to provide authorities with real-time situational awareness. The storage system needs to be capable of accommodating this huge challenge, with zero tolerance for downtime or data loss to maintain data continuity.

Delivering options for up to 10 TB for SkyHawk HDDs and 12 TB for Enterprise Capacity HDDs, Seagate is ensuring that these projects are able to keep up with the growing demand for more storage space. Furthermore, as Seagate’s SkyHawk drives are purpose-built for surveillance, they are designed to operate 24/7, 365 days a year and feature high-write workloads (90 percent write and 10 percent read), which makes them ideal for city surveillance systems.

“Seagate’s storage solutions are optimized for supporting multiple video streams at one time, ensuring no dropped frames and consistency of performance,” remarked Lim. “Some of our offerings also feature ADAPT technology, which can significantly reduce the wait to rebuild time, increasing redundancy and bringing systems back to operational as soon as possible.” ADAPT, or Seagate’s RAID rebuild technology, directly extracts salvageable data from a failed drive, lessening the amount of data to be recovered during time-consuming RAID recovery.

Enhanced Data Security and Recovery

When it comes to protecting data, much of the focus has been on hardening security for front-end devices such as surveillance cameras. However, unprotected storage systems will leave highly confidential or sensitive data vulnerable to hacking or cyberattacks. “Cybersecurity needs to be end to end; it shouldn’t only be data in motion or IP cameras, we also need to secure the storage. As data itself is becoming critical and important, security must be present at all levels,” emphasized Lim.

Seagate offers high-level hardware-based security through its TAA-approved self-encrypting drives (SED), which is considered one of the safest ways to protect data at rest. A requirement for many US government agencies, SED features on-the-fly encryption with no impact to system performance. The data is encrypted as it is written to the drive using a cipher key and can only be decrypted with the same key. Any attempt to hack into the drive without the key/password would be unsuccessful.

Additionally, the instant secure erase (ISE) option on the drives allows easy and effective data sanitization of hard drives — a perhaps less discussed but necessary step in safe city projects when retiring old HDDs. An erase command instantly destroys the cipher key, rendering all the encrypted data unreadable. This not only makes it possible for the drives to be reused for other purposes safely, but also saves on the costs of engaging a third party to sanitize the disks.

Given that most video surveillance DVRs and NVRs fail to perform backups but are still relied heavily upon in situations of evidence retrieval and investigations, the associated risks and consequences of data loss are quite high and costly. To address this, Seagate launched rescue plans that offer in-house data recovery services, which has been successfully leveraged by various law and security enforcement agencies, major multinational companies and end users requiring critical data/evidence retrieval and recovery.

Boasting a success rate of over 90 percent, the data recovery service is able to retrieve data lost or damaged from system failures as well as other situations like power surges, disasters, floods, sabotage/vandalism, etc. Through this, Seagate is able to provide peace of mind to end users and revenue opportunities for installers and SI partners.

Secure Storage for the Cities of Tomorrow

Safe city initiatives will continue to grow in number and complexity over the next few years, and the demand for storage will grow alongside it. This will only open up more and more opportunities for Seagate to not only showcase its wide range of products and solutions, but also offer its support and expertise to ongoing efforts to improve the safety and security of these cities.


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