One of World's Largest Malls Protects Video Surveillance Data with Pivot3 Serverless Computing

Pivot3, a provider of storage-centric computing, announced the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has deployed the Pivot3 Serverless Computing array as part of a major upgrade. The Mall of America, one of the largest malls in the world, has more than four miles of storefronts, 13,000 employees and hosts nearly 40 million visitors each year. The Pivot3 Serverless Computing Array running Genetec Omnicast video management system software was selected to improve the quality, speed, and reliability of the video surveillance system, which covers 4.2 million square feet of enclosed space, including a seven-acre indoor amusement park and a 1.2 million gallon aquarium.

“We have been working on a plan to double the size of this mall, and the Pivot3 combined storage and server solution provides us with the flexibility and the scalability needed to expand much more efficiently than anything else we have evaluated,” said Chris Lake-Smith, Director of IT at Mall of America.

In the planning phase, the security group considered a Dell Storage Area Network (SAN), but system integrator VTI Security suggested the Pivot3 Serverless Computing, which uses 40 percent less power than a separate Fiber Channel (FC) SAN and server combination. The specification called for 15 days of storage at 24 frames per second and 4-CIF resolution (704 x 576), so the mall's IT department selected six Pivot3 CloudBank appliances, fitting 72 TB of storage capacity and six embedded servers into less than two feet of rack space.

“Pivot3 has better redundancy to ensure system uptime and also has the ability to embed the Genetec Omnicast offering into a virtual environment,” said Rick Allan, CTO at VTI Security. “No one else offers the level of redundancy and availability that Pivot3 has on its hardware. With traditional systems, you run the risk of losing a month's or a year's worth of evidence. But with Pivot3, even if an entire server fails, none of the data is lost.”

Installing and configuring the Pivot3 CloudBanks took less than a day, including time spent training IT staff. “With the Pivot3 CloudBanks and the Genetec system, we are getting a much clearer image than before, the image retention time has been expanded, and the system is reliable and easy to maintain,” Lake-Smith said. “We can now concentrate on managing the security of the Mall and not the security system. We are very happy with the decision we made.”

“Retail environments invariably introduce tight space constraints, as well as limited power, cooling and cost,” said Dilip Sarangan, industry analyst, Physical Security at Frost & Sullivan. “Pivot3 Serverless Computing meets these needs by hosting virtual servers in each storage appliance, which provides an instant return on investment.”

“The security of the employees and visitors is vital, but large retail environments such as the Mall of America are also dealing with significant insurance or liability risks, which can be controlled through video surveillance,” said Lee Caswell, founder and chief marketing officer of Pivot3. “At the same time though, they add enormous amounts of data, and a highly scalable, integrated server and storage solution gives the IT department peace of mind that its mission-critical data is safe at all times and available when needed.”

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