A smart future for the video security industry

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The video imaging and cybersecurity sector is undergoing a period of intense transformation, driven by rapidly increasing demand from a broadening range of end-users, including banking and finance, retail, media and entertainment, and local governments. Underlying these shifts are big, global changes: the UN predicts that 68% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, while increasing numbers of industries are seeking to reap the benefits of introducing digital technologies into their ways of working.

About he author

Jermaine Campbell is the Surveillance Sales Lead for EMEA for Seagate Technology.

This is all a huge opportunity for the video security industry. All these trends have a need for video analytics. Smart cities rely on video for traffic management and safety enforcement; smart retail needs video to track purchases and deliver AR/VR experiences; smart manufacturing needs video analytics to promote safety and efficiency on the factory floor. As a result, according to one report by Mordor Intelligence, the industry can expect a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10% through to 2026.

More video analytics means more data, and the industry is hardly alone in that respect. According to the Rethink Data Report, IDC’s research projected enterprise data to increase at a rate of 42.2% between 2020 and 2022, with 68% of this data being unused by businesses due to difficulties accessing and using it effectively.

This all begs the question: is the security industry ready for its post-pandemic growth spurt? Outdated, on-premises infrastructure risks holding back progress. With more data being produced than ever, the way we build video imaging and analytics systems needs to change. A mix of on-site and cloud storage infrastructure is going to be the key to making the most of all this data and unlocking new growth opportunities.

The data dilemma

More video analytics means more data is needed to store the footage. This growth is being driven by three main factors: increasing number of video recording end-points, increasing variety of end points, and the increasing image quality that those end-points are recording.

Gone are the days where CCTV systems would be recording five black and white frames per second: today’s video systems are increasingly full color, HD, and at a much higher framerate. Video footage is being produced not just from static cameras, but body cams, vehicles, drones, and in new settings such as smart cities, hospitals and factories. All these developments have their obvious benefits in terms of new features for users, however they do come at a cost: all this video requires both much more space for data storage, and a more advanced system for making sure that the data is available where and when the user needs it.

Opportunities in the cloud

It would be wrong to see this increase in video data as just a burden to be mitigated – it is also a huge opportunity for end users that can take advantage of the latest advancements in data management.

Most end users have already made heavy upfront investments in existing storage infrastructure, and upgrading this infrastructure is expensive, especially if done frequently. Adopting a hybrid approach to data management can help keep costs under control while opening up opportunities to innovate.

A hybrid system uses a combination of both traditional, on-premises data storage systems such as hard disk drives, with newer types of mass-capacity private or public cloud storage. This enables businesses to store their video data both locally and in the cloud, depending on the type of data and the business need.

For example, if you have a data set that you need quick easy access to, then that data can stay on on-prem storage where it’s readily available. However, the business may also have much larger archival data sets that aren’t needed to be readily accessed so frequently, however they do need to remain searchable and indexable for use in business analytics. In this use case, private or public cloud environments offer clear advantages over on-prem in terms of costs and feature sets.

Hybrid systems using both on-prem and cloud networks offer end-users new options to extend their video storage capabilities without the expensive prospect of expanding the hardware footprint. It can also help drive costs per TB of storage down, and offer additional layers of security compared to on-prem storage alone.

This isn’t to say that on-site storage of video data is going away any time soon: it isn’t. As long as data is being generated by end point devices like cameras, there will be a need to store that data locally for easy access. However, cloud is set to become more and more popular as the economics changes and makes it a more cost-effective and simple option for bulk storage. As the industry continues to expand with new end-users and innovative applications of video analytics technology, the vendors and installers that recognize this potential today will be the ones to reap the benefits in the coming years.

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Jermaine Campbell is the Surveillance Sales Lead for EMEA for Seagate Technology. He works to broaden and deepen relationships with channel partners and with their input, define and execute Seagates strategy in video imaging and analytics. Prior to Seagate, he held roles at Western Digital.