Depending on the user’s needs, several storage approaches are available. These include storage on the edge, the cloud, or a combination of both. As a leading storage solutions provider, Seagate Technology has solutions for all of the aforementioned architectures.
In the age of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), devices — including IP cameras — are generating more data than ever. Deciding how to properly store this data is critical.
Depending on the user’s needs, several approaches are available. These include storage on the edge, the cloud, or a combination of both. As a leading storage solutions provider, Seagate Technology
has solutions for all of the aforementioned architectures.
Recent findings by IDC predict the cumulative amount of data worldwide will grow from 33 zettabytes (ZB) (33 trillion gigabytes) in 2018 to a whopping 175 ZB by 2025. A lot of this data is generated by IP cameras for both security and business intelligence purposes. Consequently, storing this data effectively and maintaining data integrity becomes crucial.
“With the advent of ultra-high definition cameras and artificial intelligence features, surveillance systems are amassing more data and storing it longer than ever before,” said Robert Yang, VP of Asia-Pacific Sales at Seagate Technology. “Gone are the days when systems integrators can simply ignore the storage aspect of video surveillance systems.”
Storage strategy – Edge vs. cloud
According to Yang, users should ask themselves whether they want to go with edge or cloud storage, or a combination of both.
“The edge refers to a device or appliance that stores captured data closest to where the footage is captured, while also analyzing that data in real-time, before transferring the data to the backend. The analysis is typically conducted in deployment or detection mode where the learning is already done and coded in chip. However, analysis can also be done through basic learning capabilities because data sets are smaller at the edge. Heavy compute capability is expensive and not feasible in large numbers on the edge, hence light compute with either CPU or low-cost GPU,” Yang said. “Meanwhile, the cloud is the large centralized backend storage server or IP-SAN where pools of data are aggregated and stored. Analysis of unstructured datasets, including multiple sources of data not limited to surveillance, occurs in the cloud. Deep learning and big data analysis are also conducted in the backend often via more powerful GPUs.”
When determining data storage needs, internet speed was another factor to consider, Yang added. “The speed of transfer depends heavily upon the internet connection and distance between the camera sensor and server. As a result, uploading files or streaming them may take some time. This, coupled with the potential of monthly subscription fees for public cloud accessibility, can be enough to make end users think twice about cloud-based options,” he said.
The architecture that the user chooses ultimately depends on their own case scenario. Regardless the strategy they adopt — edge or cloud or both — Seagate has the solution for it.
For those opting for edge storage, the user can benefit from surveillance-optimized hard drives. These can withstand excessive heat, stress and vibrations that frequently occur in a video surveillance storage system. “Specialized edge devices like Seagate Technology’s SkyHawk surveillance hard drives can proactively prevent malfunctions that could compromise data integrity. SkyHawk’s 24/7 workloads and advanced ImagePerfect firmware help to achieve this.” Yang said. “Additionally, the Skyhawk Health Management (SHM) embedded drive monitoring software analyzes drive parameters and uses algorithms to determine any issues.”
For end users looking for minimal maintenance and centralized management for data storage, the cloud was an ideal option, if managed properly with proper consideration for appropriate security measures, Yang said.
“For applications collecting video and metadata from thousands of cameras, Seagate’s Exos enterprise drives and Nytro solid state drives maximize server performance, scalability and efficiency in the cloud,” he said. “The Exos drives store petabytes of data in a single enclosure. They also feature Seagate Secure encryption technology, providing a heightened level of data protection in compliance with TAA and FIPS protocols. Nytro solid state drives enhance deep learning activity and quickly perform real-time predictive analytics.”
Seagate’s edge and cloud offerings have applications in a range of verticals. One of them is retail, where more and more end users are relying on AI for security and business intelligence purposes. In this regard, Seagate solutions can come in handy in either the edge or cloud setup.
“These retail stores that are leveraging AI are relying on surveillance-optimized drives like SkyHawk AI to power their on-site NVR storage solutions,” Yang said. “Meanwhile, retailers managing surveillance systems from hundreds of branch locations are also deploying Exos enterprise drives and Nytro solid-state drives. The Exos X14 drive maximizes storage efficiency while reducing hardware footprint. The Nytro solid-state drive enhances server functionality, enabling instantaneous data availability for real-time predictive analytics and decision-making.”
As municipal operators increasingly relying on AI and data to improve and manage traffic, storage becomes key for them as well. “Designed for 24/7 workloads, SkyHawk surveillance drives leverage up to 14TB designed for DVR and NVR systems. Meanwhile, SkyHawk AI supports 32 additional AI streams. With SkyHawk drives, local police can retrieve and review video in real time upon detection of a stalled car or road obstacle. They can then send officers to the scene to help direct traffic,” Yang said. “The final place where data is centralized and stored is at the backend, or data center. Due to the large amounts of video and metadata being recorded and analyzed in these environments, cities are deploying Seagate’s 14TB helium-based Exo enterprise drives, with the Secure encryption technology protecting data at rest.”
While edge devices offer surveillance-optimized features, cloud storage allows for centralized management and ease of use. Both can be used in tandem to create the right solution for every application. Every deployment presents its own set of unique challenges; for many there is no “one-size-fits-all" data storage solution. This is where companies like Seagate come in, by offering solutions that address different storage needs. With data becoming more abundant and users placing a stronger focus on storage reliability and data integrity, we can expect companies like Seagate to roll our more advanced and cutting-edge solutions to help users meet those objectives.