Current video surveillance data collection practices use local DVR or NAS storage systems
The LTO Program discusses how organizations are struggling to balance the
benefit of video surveillance with high costs and increasing legal parameters

We live in a world where there is an increasing need for video surveillance for crime prevention and public security and safety. Video surveillance is being used in greater quantity and with higher quality expectations in airports, cities and workplaces around the globe. In fact, the average person is reportedly caught on a surveillance recording more than 75 times per day.

From security camera footage to body cameras, this system of surveillance is also producing gigantic amounts of data daily. A day of video surveillance, for example, is estimated to be collecting more than 500 petabytes (PB) of data. And this number is increasing. According to a recent IHS Technologies report, future estimates show that by 2019 data will grow to over 2,500 petabytes daily. Organizations and governments are struggling to balance the benefit of video surveillance with the high costs, resources and increasing legal parameters being developed.

How Is Video Surveillance Used Today?

Body cameras and surveillance footage have been in the news nearly every day over the past few years, and have played a huge role in many high profile cases. For example, the role of video in law enforcement was invaluable in bringing the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers to justice. Following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, law enforcement agencies across the country integrated body cameras into their organizations, adding to the existing use of patrol car cameras. And with tighter security in airports, many airports are installing close to 20,000 cameras throughout their terminals. However, footage of fatal shootings, for example, is often cut or edited, and occasionally lost due to poor storage handling or lack of security. New regulations are being implemented to combat these issues, calling for surveillance videos to be retained for longer periods of time and in some cases indefinitely.

Where is all of this video going? Who is responsible for maintaining that critical footage over long periods of time, and ensuring the data is safe and easy to access when needed? 

But where is all of this video going? Who is responsible for maintaining that critical footage over long periods of time, and ensuring the data is safe and easy to access when needed? What is the true cost of this system? And what does it mean for the future of the video surveillance industry as more and more video is captured? The main challenges facing organizations grappling with the increase of video surveillance are the amount of video being captured, how to store it for infinite amounts of time and the cost to maintain this storage.

How Much Video is there?

As with most industries, data collection is used to retain data for legal purposes and future analytics. When thinking about the industry verticals that use video surveillance, the amount of data is endless. Let’s look at one example – airports. Thinking about the 20,000 cameras at a typical international airport, and assuming the airport is using 15 frame NTSC video capture, that’s 5.3 PB of data per day! Even if the data frame rate is reduced to 3 frames per second, that’s still 1 PB of data daily and 30 PB of data each month. There’s no questioning the enormous amount of data being captured.

Now let’s think about how long this video needs to be stored. Airport guidelines require any “event” to be stored for seven or more years! An “event” includes theft, reported injuries and any conflicts. These “events” happen anywhere between 20 to 40 times per day. For the purposes of estimating the amount of data these “events” produce, let’s assume the following - if each “event” is ten minutes long and captured on at least ten cameras, that’s about 18 GB of data that needs to be kept for seven plus years. With 20 to 40 of these occurrences happening daily, that’s 360-720 GB per day!

Current data collection practices tend to be locally stored on-site or sent to cloud storage. In many video surveillance environments, it is common to use local DVR or NAS storage systems.

This large amount of daily data is an insurance of sorts for the airport and sometimes individuals involved in the incident and some feel that the benefits of having this video surveillance justifies the cost of managing the data.

What is the true cost of storage?

In every industry, video surveillance helps protect an organization from liability. But what is the cost for this insurance? Where should industry leaders turn to get the most out of this investment? Should they choose disk, cloud or tape?

Let’s take a look at the costs of storing all this video data. Assuming that only ten percent of the video will ever be looked at, the total cost of ownership has been calculated below (Figure 1).

LTFS allows data to be viewed in the same way that it is seen on a disk system

Figure 1: Total Cost of Ownership Long Term (cloud data was pulled based
on the public pricing provided by both Google and Amazon)

In this comparison, the Object Storage JBOD is given the benefit of the lowest cost open compute type storage. This comparison also takes into account having management of tape and object storage technology on-site, which increased the cost, but gives a more realistic representation of pricing.

It is clear that tape technology is the lowest cost storage solution for digital data. With the introduction of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) the system is easier to use than ever

It is clear that tape technology is the lowest cost storage solution for digital data. With the introduction of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) the system is easier to use than ever. In relation to the surveillance industry, LTFS allows data to be viewed in the same way that it is seen on a disk system. Working with LTO tape technology, LTFS allows tape to be self-describing and improves archive management. Utilising data from an LTO tape solution is now as simple as dragging and dropping the files.

In order to create savings for consumers and lower company bottom lines, surveillance and security industry professionals need to embrace low cost solutions for increasing storage needs. With legal requirements mounting, it is imperative that a lower cost solution be implemented to keep data secure, easily accessible and stored for long periods of time.

How can the industry adapt to this new wave of data?

The video surveillance and security industry are looking at increasing data needs and with it comes new challenges and regulations. Industry leaders are going to need to address this data wave head first with sustainable, long-term solutions. Video surveillance is the security solution of the future and will continue to be used to protect and serve communities globally.

 

By The LTO Program, a consortium of representatives setting standards and specifications for Linear Tape-Open storage technology, overseen by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum.

By The LTO Program is a consortium of representatives setting standards and specifications for Linear Tape-Open storage technology, overseen by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum.

 

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

In case you missed it

How Does Audio Enhance Security System Performance?
How Does Audio Enhance Security System Performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

What Are The Mainstream Uses For Thermal Cameras?
What Are The Mainstream Uses For Thermal Cameras?

The high cost of thermal imaging cameras historically made their use more likely in specialized law enforcement and military applications. However, lower pricing of thermal imaging technologies has opened up a new and expanding market for thermal cameras in the mainstream. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new opportunities for thermal cameras in mainstream physical security?

Identiv Unveils Cloud Access Control and Frictionless Mobile Solution
Identiv Unveils Cloud Access Control and Frictionless Mobile Solution

Even though ISC West 2020 was canceled, many of the product introductions planned for the trade show still happened. For example, physical security and secure identification company Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is a cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution. It is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. Smart mobile physical access control solution Identiv’s MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. We caught up with Jason Spielfogel, Identiv’s Director of Product Management, to discuss the new products and other topics. Q: How is Identiv positioned in the market as a whole? What philosophy drives your product offerings? What vertical markets do you target? Every customer needs every one of these components Spielfogel: Identiv provides a total solution. Our platforms provide access control hardware and software, video surveillance and analytics, door access readers, and ID credentials, both cards and mobile, for a variety of vertical markets: Federal government, state, local and education government agencies (SLED), healthcare, schools, banks/financial services, retail, airports and transportation, and infrastructure. Every customer needs every one of these components in every physical security deployment, and we ensure that all parts are working together at all times, even as technology continues to evolve. With that said, our philosophy is very customer-centric, and we position ourselves as a trusted partner. Our products and technology platform always strive to reflect and anticipate the environment our customers are facing, both in terms of technical requirements and functional capabilities. Q: How does the MobilisID system eliminate "friction?" Spielfogel: Identiv’s MobilisID eliminates the “friction” of access control by forgiving the user from presenting a physical credential to the reader. A simple wave of their hand over the MobilisID reader establishes a connection, and the reader reads their mobile device’s credential from the MobilisID app.  No badge or access card to read, and no contact with the reader, makes this a frictionless access control experience. Administrative friction is also eliminated because there is no physical credential to issue or withdraw; it’s all done via the MobilisID Manager. Q: Discuss the advantages of Bluetooth over competing technologies. Bluetooth offers a blend of reliability and specificity Spielfogel: There are two primary competing technologies: WiFi and Near Field Communication (NFC). The problem with WiFi is that it’s not location-specific. In other words, the WiFi router can’t tell which door the user is near. NFC has the opposite problem in that it’s impossible to get credential reads unless the phone is presented within an inch or two of the reader. Bluetooth offers a blend of reliability and specificity to create frictionless access. Q: "Touchless" has always been a big selling point. Doesn't the coronavirus improve the outlook for these systems even more? Spielfogel: The coronavirus certainly highlights the value of frictionless access. But the vast majority of access systems today use proximity which was already touchless. But for systems using touchpads or contact-based credentialing, certainly frictionless is offering some alternatives that would help keep employees and visitors safer in the current climate. Q: How else might the current pandemic change the security market forever (i.e., more teleworking?) Spielfogel: Permanent changes are not likely, but it does force security directors to rethink how their employees interact physically with systems for both physical and logical access. As a result, we might see accelerated adoption of some emerging technologies, such as greater use of mobile logical access solutions, as well as frictionless physical access control. We’ve already seen an uptick in our smart card reader and token line and our Thursby enterprise and personal mobility offering during the coronavirus pandemic. Q: There are a lot of cloud systems in the access control space. How is your Cirrus cloud product different? Velocity already has all those features Spielfogel: Cirrus is different from many others in that it’s built on one of the most mature, feature-rich, secure physical access solutions available today – Hirsch hardware and Velocity Software. While many competitors are scrambling to add features to their relatively new ACaaS platforms, Velocity already has all those features. While they are building up their encryption capabilities and cybersecurity testing, we’ve already been doing that for two decades. We certainly have some more development ahead of us for Cirrus, but most of it is just surfacing features we already have into the Cirrus interface. Q: How do you guide customers as their needs change? Spielfogel: Whether users want solutions that are on-prem, in the cloud, or anything in between, Identiv’s full architecture ensures that customers can adopt and migrate to new solutions as they see fit. No two customers are alike, so providing the flexibility to gradually update or change systems is a real differentiator. Our competitors either want customers to jump all at once to the cloud or push to keep everything on-prem/legacy. CSOs and CISOs live in a different world: They've got it all to deal with.  We're there with them across all of it, because that's the true reality.