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Exclusive Q&A: Quantum’s new Smart NVR and USP software lineup

Exclusive Q&A: Quantum’s new Smart NVR and USP software lineup
New NVRs that simplify video recording infrastructure and lowers the total cost of ownership by consolidating the server's compute, storage, and networking resources into a single unified and scalable system that hosts video management system (VMS) and other common security applications
Recognizing that video data will be the largest source of unstructured data, Quantum is making strategic moves through various acquisitions and product development in the video surveillance segment.
Quantum announced the launch of its Smart NVRs at ISC West 2022 which run Quantum’s Unified Surveillance Platform (USP), a software platform for recording and storing video surveillance data.
This hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solution commonly found in IT datacenters has been optimized for the unique characteristics of video workloads and physical security environments.
While the first version of the USP was largely based on software developed by EnCloudEn which Quantum acquired in 2021, the new version scheduled for release later this year will incorporate value-added features stemming from Quantum’s acquisition of Pivot3.
The Quantum USP software simplifies video recording infrastructure and lowers the total cost of ownership by consolidating the server's compute, storage, and networking resources into a single unified and scalable system that hosts video management system (VMS) and other common security applications. The unique thing here is that being a software product, integrators can choose to run it on their own hardware, or choose a machine made by Quantum. spoke with Quantum’s Eric Bassier, Senior Director, Product & Technical Marketing, to gain further insight into this new product lineup.
Eric Bassier
Senior Director,
Product and Technical Marketing

Asmag: Can you tell us more about the Quantum Smart NVRs and how they compare to conventional NVRs?
Bassier: Quantum Smart NVRs lower cost and complexity through innovative software. Unlike conventional NVRs, Quantum Smart NVRs can host multiple security applications on the same NVR. This includes video management, access control, license plate recognition and other applications. By being able to run multiple applications on a single NVR, the result is a reduction in the number of physical NVRs and servers that need to be purchased, deployed, maintained, and updated.
This makes Quantum’s Smart NVR ideal for environments that traditionally would deploy a number of classic NVRs and additional servers for multiple applications. The Smart NVRs connect to cameras the same way as traditional NVRs. There is no additional hardware to be purchased. In fact, a key benefit of Quantum Smart NVR is the reduction of needed hardware since the VMS and multiple applications run on the Smart NVR instead of requiring separate boxes. The entry point can support up to 90 cameras and comes in a tower form factor. On the high end, Quantum’s 4U Smart NVR can support up to 1,075 cameras and longer retention of video.
Since the Quantum Smart NVR software is hardware-agnostic, users may also opt to simply buy just the Smart NVR software from Quantum and repurpose their old NVRs to their Quantum Smart NVR (presuming the old NVRs meet minimum hardware requirements). This gives integrators greater flexibility in choosing the hardware they want to work with.

Asmag: How do Quantum’s Smart NVRs differ from other pre-built solutions like BCD, Veracity or Genetec’s Streamvault?
Bassier: All of these pre-built solutions are good at doing one thing with one VMS, basically just a pre-configured NVR for a specific VMS. They don’t provide a VMS- agnostic NVR with software that enables the NVR to run multiple applications: either multiple VMS recorders or a VMS recorder plus something like access control or a management server or intrusion detection or a POS.
The Quantum software on the Smart NVR also has built-in cybersecurity capabilities that enable the user to easily establish a four-layer security defense for IT department-grade cybersecurity. So the user is basically able to deploy a more fully capable NVR and get more value for the investment.
Asmag: How do the Smart NVRs fit within Quantum’s overall video surveillance portfolio?
Bassier: In addition to Quantum’s Smart NVR product line, Quantum also has a line of HCI solutions that provide a purpose-built, innovative approach to creating a highly-resilient ‘always-on’ unified server and storage infrastructure for VMS and other security applications that scales according to customers’ needs.
Quantum also has software and storage solutions for cost-effective long-term retention of video. Our StorNext software is used to automatically tier video off the primary storage system over to either a Scalar Tape Library, ActiveScale object storage, or even the public cloud of choice.
Asmag: Where do you see the market going – edge, cloud, hybrid? Where do Quantum solutions fit into this?
Bassier: Video surveillance needs differ by use case so solutions differ as well. For example, high-camera count environments (universities, airports, casinos and hospitals) where video is mission-critical and there is zero tolerance for recording downtime or losing access to video will typically benefit most from an HCI infrastructure. 
While the cloud can be tapped to store video surveillance data, the cost of the bandwidth to do so, not to mention the actual cloud storage and retrieval fees themselves, can make cloud unrealistically expensive. In contrast, a remote location can derive great value by storing video surveillance to the cloud as the video would be easily accessible by the organization’s central management.
In general, as camera counts increase along with frame rates, resolution, and archive, on-premise storage will continue to make the most economical sense, even with data reduction technologies like H.265.
Quantum offers customers the flexibility to store video in the cloud, on-premise, or a hybrid model. In addition, on-premise video can be automatically written to low-cost object storage and/or tape which can reduce storage costs by approximately 80 percent.
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