1080P cameras can use 2-3Mb and 20MP cameras can take up to 20-30Mb of the network stream, making it difficult to share a network with other systems
Pre-existing networks are not usually designed to support IP video cameras, so a
parallel network for their exclusive use is best when it comes to storage

The video storage boom shows no signs of slowing down. The talk is not typically how much storage; but where and how to store. Locally-housed (on-premises) storage continues to be the most cost-effective, along with providing the most control over your data. However, prior to considering the storage, it is important to look at the robustness of the network, as it is a key factor in making the right decision for storage architecture. It is necessary to know if there is enough pipe to take the footage from point A to point B.

Storage Requirements For Video Cameras

It is more than likely that the existing network was not initially designed with IP video cameras in mind. VOIP phones, perhaps; but not the IP cameras. With 1080P cameras using 2-3Mb and 20MP cameras taking 20-30Mb of network stream, it does not take many video cameras to wreak havoc on the existing network. This is why a parallel network exclusive to the video cameras is generally the best course of action. 

As you start determining the storage needs, it is critical that scalability is built into the formula. We generally suggest 20% overhead availability. You certainly do not need to purchase the system that way, but just know – in advance - your options to upgrade. Ask how many additional cameras the system in its present state can handle, and how many open drive bays are available, and how many cameras per hard drive added? If the answer in none and none, then you are getting a maxxed-out system with zero scalability. Buyer, beware - as many things beyond your control can change the storage requirements, even after the system has been deployed.

Longer Retention Periods For Storage

More often than ever, government and business retention regulations have come into play. Anyone selling into the Texas school system knows about SB 507, the law mandating that special education classrooms must record audio and video for a period of 180 days. No special funding was extended to offset this requirement.

But Texas schools are not the only ones faced with longer retention mandates. The U.S. Coast Guard has regulations on all commercial vessels requiring six months of retention. Payment Card Industry (PCI) requires 90 days. In Illinois, medical marijuana fields and dispensaries WERE 30 days of retention. Overnight and without warning, this was changed to 90 days, and they had thirty days to comply or face fines. The list goes on and on.

With both last minute changes and unforeseen regulations in mind, it is imperative to have storage flexibility. In every situation, the fix could be as easy as adding a hard drive or two – a much better and less costly solution than needing a new server. Keep in mind the analytic capabilities within the stored footage. More and more corporations and organizations are utilizing the video analytics as they do their Business Intelligence software, which requires an even longer period of time in order to view that data.

Make it a priority that your server is purpose built to run with the video software of your choosing. There are nuances within each of the major video management software companies that make them write differently to the disks. The system needs to be built to support that particular software for maximum performance per their disk allocations. One size certainly does not fit all! 

Storage capabilities within the server are important, but bandwidth capabilities are the key. The ability of the video server to ingest large amounts of bandwidth is more vital to managing and recording the video than the storage capability of the unit
Scalability and durability are key considerations for any video recording server

Storage capabilities within the server are important, but bandwidth capabilities are the key. These days, anyone could build a 100+TB server. All you really need is a box and drive bays. But without the ability to process the data to the hard drives and simultaneously send that out to the viewing station or stations, the storage serves little purpose other than driving up cost. The ability of the video server to ingest large amounts of bandwidth is more vital to managing and recording the video than the storage capability of the unit.

Durability Of Recording Servers

If the video recording system cannot manage 500Mbps throughput, it really has no business being called an enterprise video server; it’s just a server running video. Or an expensive DVR.

Case in point, use 125 x 1080P cameras at 15fps an example. Regardless of the retention time, be it one day or thirty, the necessary system bandwidth stays consistent at 414Mbps. For thirty days of storage, it’s roughly 67TB of RAID5 useable storage, or 84TB of total storage. The storage part is easy, just need enough drive bays and hard disks. The major hard disk manufacturers have done their part to make those affordable. Focus on the bandwidth and throughput capabilities within the server. It really is that critical.

Lastly, durability needs to come into the equation. The server could very well have an on-site warranty. However, if the unit is crashing every other day, and the integrator needs to roll a truck each time after the service call, then you have cameras that are also not recording every other day alongside of it. In the end, the “included” warranty ends up costing money for labor and possibly the reputation with the customer.

This could also result in a liability to the business or the integrator. A few years back, at a major league baseball stadium, a couple was mugged in the parking lot after the game, underneath a video surveillance camera. Unfortunately for them, the recording server was not functioning, thus nothing was recorded. More unfortunately for the park, they were sued under the argument that having the video camera gave the couple the sense of security; although it turned out to be a false sense of security. Having the system consistently running should be the expectation. Consider the warranty more of an insurance policy SHOULD the server have an issue, not WHEN.

Building the proper infrastructure regarding to the network and within the video recorder as it relates to bandwidth, scalability, and durability, will ensure success in your video surveillance recording. Not only for today, but for five years from today… and beyond.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

Jeff Burgess Chief Executive Officer, BCDVideo

In case you missed it

Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control
Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control

For more than 22 years, Open Options, Addison, Texas, has developed access control solutions that connect to leading security technologies to deliver a full-scale solution based on each customer’s unique needs. In 2018, Open Options was acquired by ACRE, which already owned the Vanderbilt and ComNet brands. To find out the latest, we interviewed Chuck O’Leary, President of Open Options. Q: It has been two and a half years since Open Options was acquired by ACRE. Briefly describe that transition and how the company is stronger today because of it. O’Leary: The ACRE transition really focused on integrating our access control solution, DNA Fusion, with Vanderbilt Industries technologies in order to further our reach in the market and enhance our portfolios. With their support, we have been able to accelerate innovations and expand our global reach. Overall, it has been a great experience to be a part of the ACRE organization, and it has opened the doors to new opportunities for us both here in the states and globally.  Q: What is "Connect Care" and how does it benefit integrators and/or end user customers? O’Leary: For those unfamiliar with the world of access control, it can often be a little overwhelming when first introduced; however, we strive to make our products as easy to use and intuitive as possible, with Connect Care being no different. Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market. It serves as a 24/7 bridge from our customers to services like technical support, platform support, professional services, and training. By providing these options for our customers, we can better empower them with the knowledge and expertise of our DNA Fusion access control system and ensure their success with the product.  Q: Who are the new customers entering the market for access control systems in the wake of the pandemic, and how should they be approached/managed differently? O’Leary: Over the last year, there has been a huge demand for access control systems as remote work increased due to COVID-19, and even now, as employees and students are heading back into the offices and schools. Organizations are realizing that having an outdated security system is no longer robust enough for the rapid advancement of technology that we witnessed over the course of the pandemic, and really the past few years. For those who are just dipping their toe into a new access control deployment, the most important thing they can do is to search for a provider who has a solution that is easily integrated, scalable, and provides excellent training and resources. Q: Define the term "touchless access control" and explain why it is gaining a higher profile in the post-pandemic world. O’Leary: The interesting thing about access control is that it has almost always been touchless. Many organizations are looking for robust solutions that are touchless and can be utilized remotely, and it's fairly easy to understand why a solution like this would become widely popular because of COVID-19. Integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizationsThe process of using access control to streamline security infrastructures is not a new concept by any means, but due to the rapid development in technology over the past few years, more integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizations, while still supplying the touchless and remote-based features. Q: What do you see as the future course of the changing technology trends we see in today's market (such as mobile credentials, cloud-based systems, cybersecurity, etc.)? O’Leary: As we continue to tread through the different technological developments in the market today, we are noticing that mobile credentials and biometrics are becoming increasingly popular. As cybersecurity and mobility continue to become more important, we are also seeing the rapid jump to the cloud. By utilizing cloud-based systems, an organization is not hindered by a lack of storage or old software and gains the flexibility to scale their security system as their business grows. Q: How will the access control market look different five years from now versus today? What about 10 years from now? O’Leary: Within the next five years, I suspect that access control will continue to make the move towards cloud-based systems and utilize mobile credentials and biometrics. In 10 years, I think all access control will be open platform and many more organizations will embrace cloud solutions for increased functionality. Also, innovations will continue to be the drivers behind new deployments with some installations being biometrics only and include recognizing fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition, and voice. Q: What is the biggest challenge currently facing the access control market, and how should manufacturers (including Open Options) be addressing the challenge? O’Leary: One of the biggest challenges facing the physical access control market is organizations actually making the shift to more up-to-date access control systems. Organizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiencesOrganizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiences — ones that are focused on integration, newer features, cybersecurity, and ease of monitoring. Access control manufacturers should be addressing this challenge by creating integratable, scalable systems that are easily managed and provide a structured, streamlined approach for an organization’s security infrastructure. Q: What is the biggest misconception about access control? O’Leary: Access control is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and some organizations might have different standards or assets that need protection. This is why it's vital to know the risks your organization faces when speaking with access control providers — to ensure the best possible outcome for your specific needs. It's important to remember that whatever access control system is chosen should proactively mitigate any risks, be easily taught to and successfully used by employees, and be scalable with your organization. No matter the line of work, a proper access control system should streamline the security infrastructure and lessen stress on the security team and employees.

Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control
Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control

Automatic gates remain an increasingly popular security choice for family homes, business premises or public buildings – anywhere that full control over access is needed. While there is much to consider for installers when advising clients on the right solution for their property, from the size, weight and cost of a gate system, it’s useful to be aware of the latest developments in the market, as this can help to find the right option to fit their needs. The need for speed Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open, and there are many factors to take into consideration, when advising on which option to use. However, swing gate motors tend to be slower than the speeds achievable for sliding gates, which means the latter are usually more popular, especially for commercial sites where timing can be among the more important factors. One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors, such as those from Bft Automation, which allow for opening and closing at a quicker speed than has previously been achievable. Fast authorized access control From a security point of view, the ability to allow people and goods in and out of a property at a quicker pace reduces the risk of unauthorized entry, while waiting for a gate to close – an important consideration in both commercial and residential contexts. Other benefits of a faster motor include reduced waiting times. This can be particularly useful for properties in busy areas, where a vehicle could risk blocking traffic, while waiting to turn into a site controlled by a slower gate. Faster motors Also, a faster motor could potentially reduce the risk of an accident from vehicles entering a property at speed. For example, this might happen if someone was making their first visit to a property situated off a fast road in an unfamiliar area. Beyond these practical considerations, in today’s fast-paced world, people aren’t as used to having to wait for things and this applies to the time it takes to get in and out of their own property. So, security benefits aside, faster motors are likely to be more appealing for clients who have sliding gates fitted to their domestic property and who prioritize convenience. The choice of which of the new faster motors to use will be impacted by a number of factors, including the weight of the gates. Essentially, the lighter the gate is the higher the speed achievable. And, as always, it’s important to make sure that any installation complies with safety regulations. Intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems, which update the level of torque required to perform the gate’s operation, allowing it to work at the optimum level, regardless of weather conditions, temperature or the degree of wear and tear on the device. Depending on the typical weather conditions experienced at the site and the anticipated frequency of use, it’s worth looking at options that take these factors into account. Importance of security rights In some scenarios, it’s important for particular individuals to have security rights. In which case, there are motors available that come with personalized keys, which are unique, providing an additional level of security. Installers often face the challenge of fitting gate motors in confined spaces, potentially making for a time consuming and technically demanding task. Available space When you only have a small space to work with, simple details can go a long way to helping you. For example, by putting the fastening screws on the front of a motor’s casing, installation and maintenance are easier and more convenient, even in particularly compact areas. Working with suppliers that offer more than just a manual means you’ll have access to advice and support on how new products work in practice and what you need to consider before advising on an installation.

What Are The Security Challenges Of Public Events?
What Are The Security Challenges Of Public Events?

Large public events were out of the question during the depths of the pandemic. However, public events are likely to experience a resurgence along with a more optimistic outlook in the coming months. In addition, there will likely be pent-up enthusiasm for these events among individuals weary from months of isolation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of public events planners in 2021?