3 factors affecting video surveillance storage

Agencies investing in more powerful cameras and analytics software should base their video storage decisions on retention time, accessibility and cost.

London. Manchester. Orlando. No one can forget the tragic acts of violence and terror that occurred in those cities in the past year. The attacks shocked and horrified us, and they continue to remind us of the threats we face.

Such events also bring to light the importance of our security and surveillance systems and processes, and they often expose areas where improvement is needed. For example, the investigation in the aftermath of the most recent attack in London revealed that the ringleader was known to authorities and had been previously interrogated.

That finding has raised many new questions. As a result, security and surveillance priorities in the U.K. are being scrutinized closely.

Security systems are in place to protect people and property. We are compelled, especially in the aftermath of a tragedy, to improve our systems by applying lessons learned.

Tightening border and airport security

Although the topic of border security is controversial, border crossings represent points of entry that can be exploited by adversaries, and governments are seeking new and better ways to monitor and secure boundaries through remote video surveillance and analytics.

The Department of Homeland Security uses strategically placed towers to provide remote video surveillance along the southwestern and northern borders of the United States. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, adding more towers to expand that surveillance would provide more protection in remote areas, specifically along the southern border. In fact, earlier this year, CBP issued a request for information that lists specifications that would effectively double the number of towers in place today.

Airports are similar, at least in some respects, to land borders. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, they represent a type of boundary and serve as a key point of entry for international travelers that must be protected and monitored carefully.

Airports are also areas where large, diverse crowds congregate. Travelers from across the country and all parts of the world intersect at international airports, creating a target-rich environment for terrorists and a security challenge for authorities. Airport security officials must protect not only passengers and visitors, but also aircraft, terminals, parking facilities, fuel facilities, airline buildings and power supply facilities.

Video surveillance is an integral part of airport security systems. Cameras are placed throughout airport facilities to monitor crowd activity, perimeter gates and fencing, security checkpoints, baggage handling, hallways, seating areas, entrances and exits. Live streams are monitored continuously with the help of video analytics. Facial recognition technology helps identify known criminals and suspects while also recognizing employees with authorized access to specific areas. Virtual tripwires notify security personnel when boundaries have been crossed, and behavioral analytics algorithms help detect left-behind packages and other unusual behaviors.

Monitoring suspicious activity over time, tracking movements of watch-list suspects and sharing information among agencies are vital in the effort to provide better security at borders and airports. Carrying out those activities is complicated, and success depends on good information from a variety of sources, one of which is real-time and archival video surveillance footage.

Camera technology is becoming more advanced with higher-resolution capability, panoramic viewing, onboard analytics and integrated audio, chemical, infrared and thermographic sensors. Greater numbers of sophisticated cameras result in a growing volume of streaming video that must be ingested and stored. Where will this video be stored, and how much capacity is needed?

The answers depend on a variety of dynamics. But here are three factors to consider before making a video storage decision.

Retention time

Retention time can have a dramatic impact on the amount of storage needed. The longer an agency plans to keep the video footage, the more storage capacity it will need.

Due to regulations and litigation issues, retention time is increasing. In 2016, Georgia passed HB 976, which requires law enforcement agencies to retain video from body-worn and vehicle-mounted devices for a minimum of 180 days. In addition, any video recording related to a criminal investigation or pending litigation must be retained for 30 months. 

When determining retention-time policies, complying with regulations is one consideration, but it’s not the only one. In some sectors, such as law enforcement and retail, the value of video increases as people and patterns are observed over longer periods of time. Be sure to consider longer-term video storage needs when making retention policy decisions.

Access

There are many storage options from which to choose: enterprise digital video recorders, boxed appliance network video recorders, PC-based network video recorders, enterprise storage platforms, tape and cloud storage. Some architectures make it easier than others to search, retrieve and share archived footage.

Before selecting a solution, consider who needs access to the video footage, how quickly they will need it and whether video files will be shared with other agencies.

Cost

Storage can account for up to 60 percent of the typical budget for video surveillance systems. That’s because many agencies choose high-performance disks, which are more expensive than tape. A good design principle is to size disk storage to meet ingest performance requirements and then build long-term retention capacity using tape or cloud. That approach minimizes storage costs while still delivering the performance needed.

Find a balance

Whether it’s enhancing border protection or airport security, video surveillance is a vital tool for law enforcement and other government officials. Expanded use of more powerful cameras, combined with new video analytics, offers a powerful way to improve security.

However, those new capabilities have an impact on video storage. Making a storage decision means striking a balance between retention time, accessibility and cost. Not all storage solutions are the same, so it’s worth investing the time to understand how each solution works to make the best decision.

NEXT STORY: Collecting data on the downpour

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.