When closed circuit television (CCTV) was on the rise in retail department stores in the 1960s camera systems didn’t have recording capabilities at all. Companies had to hire employees to sit and watch the live stream in real time. With the arrival of the VCR and VHS tapes in the 1970s, companies could record camera footage on cassette tapes, replay them on demand and maintain them in a video library on-site. Employees would need to manually pull VHS tapes out of a VCR, stack, catalog and repeat.
Fortunately, storage solutions for video surveillance data have come a long way since the VHS libraries of yore. With the advent of the internet and the arrival of cloud storage solutions, there are now a myriad of ways that a video surveillance provider can choose to store and maintain video footage for their clients both on-site or in the cloud, each with a pros and cons list.
Some common storage setups in the marketplace today:
Video Surveillance as a Service, also known as VSaaS, is a cloud-based video surveillance setup typically provided as a subscription service on a per-camera basis. VSaaS is a fully remote, cloud-hosted surveillance service that utilizes cloud technologies to provide surveillance services to clients.
Pros: The benefits of this kind of service is economy of scale and accessibility. Since the cost is typically per camera rather than per bit of data, the cost of service is consistent and measurable for the end user, based on the number of cameras in a given system. Because the service is fully remote, VSaaS offers remote viewing to clients and remote access to data storage.
Cons: The main drawback customers have with this kind of service is the system’s reliance on an internet connection to maintain connectivity to cloud storage. When the internet goes down, a provider may implement dual recording via SD cards in the camera itself, but the camera system will stop backing up to the cloud during an outage.
On-premise storage is exactly what it sounds like: video surveillance footage that is stored on-site. Network Video Recording, also known as NVR, is a more traditional storage solution option which requires data backup onsite, typically in the form of a server or harddrive setup.
Pros: The benefits of this kind of setup is that it is hardwired into the network of a given business or residence. Customers can record high quality footage without worrying about bandwidth capacity and the customer owns their footage outright.
Cons: The main drawbacks of this setup are affordability, data accessibility and a lack of redundancy. On-premise storage is usually situated in one single geographic location, which increases the possibility that data will be lost in the event of a power outage, system failure, natural disaster or other catastrophic event. And maintaining an on-site server tends to be very costly in the long run.
Public cloud storage for video surveillance is cloud storage offered on a pay-per-use basis. Like VSaas, public cloud storage solutions are fully remote. Unlike VSaaS, rather than storing video footage in a cloud system on a subscription basis per camera, this method of storage is typically charges per-gigabyte-per-month, which means the price of this type of storage is dictated by exactly how much data a customer is looking to store in the cloud at any given time.
Pros: A benefit of this kind of cloud storage is clients only pay for the actual amount of storage being used. Like VSaaS, public cloud storage allows remote access to footage. Unlike on-premise storage solutions, which require hardware expansion to scale up with a business, public cloud storage options are easily scalable for businesses.
Cons: A big drawback of this kind of storage is that cost will fluctuate based on the number of bits of data being stored at any given time. The cost of data storage will grow exponentially as a business grows, as the more data you are storing, the higher the cost. Some customers may also have issues with compliance and encryption through certain public cloud storage providers, and risk the loss of data in the event that the cloud provider loses service itself.
Some companies will opt to build their own private cloud storage system, also known as internal cloud storage, either through an on-premise private cloud or through a cloud service provider building a private cloud system tailored to the specific needs of the company. Typically data is stored in a company’s intranet system and protected by the company’s firewall.
Pros: The benefit of building your own cloud system is greater flexibility and customization in cloud architecture. In some ways, a customer has more control over how data is stored and secured.
Cons: A major drawback of building your own cloud system is how much it costs. Additionally, once an internal cloud infrastructure is built, the architecture may remain without upgrades for a longer period of time and become quickly outdated.
Hybrid Cloud Storage utilizes a combination of local and cloud storage, often a combination of on-site infrastructure supplemented by cloud storage, whether subscription or public cloud storage.
Pros: A benefit of operating with a combination of data being stored on-site and in the cloud, there is an additional layer of redundancy built into this set up. Since you have data stored both on-site and in the cloud, if the server for one system experiences failure, slow connection or a catastrophic event, the other system will be there as a backup.
Cons: A drawback to having a hybrid solution is cost. When a customer has both on-site and cloud storage a customer is paying for services and maintenance for multiple systems.
Whether you are currently set up as an VSaaS provider, with on-site storage, public cloud or a hybrid model, Bifrost Cloud is ready to step in to streamline, diversify and fully encrypt your video surveillance data at an affordable rate. A next generation cloud storage solution, Bifrost Cloud goes one step further to create a resilient cloud network that prioritizes the security, confidentiality and accessibility of your surveillance data.
Here are some of the benefits of partnering with Bifrost Cloud:
With Bifrost Cloud, customers can continue to use the software that they traditionally use for business operations without interruption. Since Bifrost Cloud isn’t a software application, but rather a data storage solution that partners with your current infrastructure, you can continue to use the tools and network setups that support your business while being supported by Bifrost Cloud as your cloud storage provider.
One of the biggest benefits of partnering with Bifrost Cloud is creating data resiliency through diversified cloud storage at a surprisingly affordable rate. Utilizing servers worldwide to store data, Bifrost Cloud creates a blanket of coverage for clients that ensures their data is always accessible, replicable and recoverable without the cumbersome costs of on-site infrastructure.
Through Bifrost Cloud’s cutting edge technology, data is broken into smaller pieces that are spread out among over 80 storage providersaround the world, so at any given time, your data is experiencing significant redundancy. Imagine being able to split those tape decks of yore into tiny little pieces and storing them all over the world, then signaling to bring the pieces back together at a moment’s notice. At any given time, your data is being stored in over 80 different servers world wide, in a system that is constantly pinging locations to check in on the status of your data.
You can rest easy knowing that no one piece of data will be lost in a back closet, when a harddrive corrupts or the internet goes down.
Generally speaking, how long a video surveillance company keeps CCTV footage depends on how many bits of storage they have available for use. The more affordable your storage solution, the longer you can keep a larger quantity of data on hand and readily available for your needs.
With Bifrost Cloud, you won’t need to worry about the wear and tear of harddrives, replacing hardware, or catastrophic data loss when a server goes down.
The global video surveillance industry is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years, which suggests that companies will need to expand their services to meet client demands. Luckily, Bifrost Cloud is diversified cloud storage that is designed to grow as you grow.
Whether you’re working with residential camera systems recording hundreds of gigabytes an hour or a complex commercial system of cameras recording thousands of terabytes a minute, or a surveillance empire traffic petabytes daily, Bifrost Cloud is built to scale with you.
Bifrost Cloud offers end-to-end encryption for customer data, starting at the user’s end. By encrypting file-paths, content and metadata, Bifrost Cloud protects client data from attacks at every step of data transfer and storage.
Whatever your current data architecture, Bifrost Cloud can be nimbly integrated as your cloud storage solution. Some common examples of integrations Bifrost Cloud has supported are:
From NAS or SAN to the Cloud: If you are already storing your data in a network attached storage system (NAS) or as a storage area network (SAN), you can use any traditional backup software that you are comfortable with to send your data to Bifrost Cloud. A few software solutions our partners have had success with include Comet Backup, Bacula and MSP360.
From NVR to the Cloud: If you are moving from a traditional NVR setup to Bifrost Cloud, there are automated solutions utilizing file transfer protocol (FTP) to send the video files directly to the cloud. This is often achieved with a hosted solution such as Couchdrop.io or our partner hosting their own FTP server.
Extending, Replacing or Duplicating from VMS: If your current storage architecture includes a Windows based virtual memory system (VMS) like Avigilon or Milestone, you could use a surveillance bridge to either replace your current storage solution with Bifrost Cloud, extend your current solution into Bifrost Cloud or do a traditional off-site duplication of data to the cloud. Our partners have had success using Tiger Tech’s surveillance bridge.
Migrating from another Cloud Service: If you are already using a cloud storage solution and want to migrate to Bifrost Cloud, we have multiple options to transfer data that can be either managed or unmanaged depending on a customer’s preference. Some helpful tools can be provided by solutions from CloudFlyer, Movebot, and Flexify.io.
At the end of the day, there is no one way to store data but there are a few key factors to consider when seeking storage solutions for your video surveillance data. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re looking to integrate a new storage solution or switch providers:
Depending on which solution you choose, you may be hit with hidden fees that weren’t included in the upfront costs. Make sure that you understand the payment structure of the solution you choose and what other systems you might need to invest in to keep your data secure, connected and accessible. Bifrost Cloud offers simple to understand pricing without any surprise line items on your bill.
Consider if there are any barriers to accessing customer data, who has access, and how transparent systems are.
Be sure to understand how a storage solution plans to keep customer data safe and secure, and whether or not there is diversity built into the data architecture in the event of catastrophic data loss in a given geographic location. Understand how the solution plans on encrypting your data against breaches and other threats.
It’s important to choose a solution that can grow with your business. Not every data storage service will be able to easily accommodate a customer as they scale up or scale back their business.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Bifrost Cloud might meet the storage needs of your video surveillance business, please reach out to us. Your video surveillance data will be secure, resilient, accessible and affordable with Bifrost Cloud.
Make the migration, its worth it.