Video Data Storage: Local, Cloud or Both?

By | Managed Services News

Sep 21

Consider accessibility needs, geography and that data storage requirements will continue to grow.

Milestone Systems' Tim Palmquist

Tim Palmquist

Conversations about technology often boil down to one topic: data. Whether a customer is asking about 5G smartphones, artificial intelligence or fiber-optic cables, it always comes back to data. Worldwide, we produce an average of 2.5 quintillion data bytes per day, according to a Forbes estimate. This number is only projected to increase with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Such a staggering amount of data calls for a commensurate level of storage.

Enter data centers. These centralized locations collect, store and process large amounts of data utilizing computing and networking equipment. Most large- to enterprise-scale businesses take advantage of data centers out of necessity. Some businesses use data centers not necessarily due to their size, but rather their unique needs. For instance, companies using security cameras (in some cases, thousands of them), must store and transfer large numbers of video files. How do they do it? And how do they ensure they have adequate bandwidth?

Traditionally, video surveillance footage is recorded by video management software (VMS) connected to cameras and stored in robust, on-premises servers. Over time, as more cameras are added to the network and video resolutions increase, data storage requirements grow. These factors, combined with the need for accessibility and administration across geographies, introduce the inevitable conversation of cloud-based versus hybrid solutions to address these needs.

On-Premises Compute and Storage

For decades, local servers have been the preferred choice for video. Video data is big. It takes a lot of bandwidth to move it around, and often leads to a lot of costly storage. On-premises solutions are popular because they use local data infrastructure and traditional computing and storage solutions that most organizations’ IT departments purchase and maintain.

On-prem solutions are also convenient. Some companies maintain an on-site data room with racks of equipment that support their business operations. Local IT personnel can easily support and maintain all the equipment — including cameras and VMS — and value the control they have over their servers, storage and associated data.

However, for all their hardiness, on-prem solutions have their shortcomings. In many cases, businesses will over-invest in their compute and storage needs, rounding up their estimates to ensure they’ve procured adequate processing and storage capability. This results in some inefficiencies and overspending. This room for error, combined with on-prem solutions’ limitations related to remote access and administration, often leads customers to search for alternative ways to store video data.

Cloud-Based Solutions and Storage

In recent years, cloud-based storage solutions have become increasingly popular for several reasons.

Cloud-based solutions are stored in large data centers and have the advantage of being more secure, resilient and manageable. Data centers often boast of the advantages of cybersecurity protocols, optimized patching, updates, maintenance and a high degree of redundancy and physical plant security. These are often difficult for individual businesses to replicate in their own data room and equipment environments. If a customer is highly concerned with these factors, cloud-based storage may be the solution for them.

Additionally, with cloud-based storage, companies buy only what they need at the time. This flexibility helps a growing organization’s deployment strategy scale as needed. The ideal customers for cloud-based solutions are …

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