By: B S Teh – Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Seagate Technology
In our digital age, the amount of data created on a daily basis is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, more than 90 per cent of all data created has been generated in the last two years alone. This equates to 3.5 zettabytes, about as much data needed to record 2,500 HD movies for every single person on the planet.
It might surprise you that almost half of this data is generated through video surveillance. According to IHS, the surveillance industry experienced 12 per cent growth last year, and is projected to expand even more in the coming year. As video surveillance continues to evolve across both the public and private sectors, there is an opportunity for businesses to capitalise on these emerging trends in order to gain competitive advantage.
Seagate recently surveyed more than 1,100 system integrators and enterprise IT executives to dig a little deeper and unearth some of the reasons why video surveillance is evolving and growing at such a rapid rate. Those included in the survey named business expansion plans (29%), safety and security concerns (23%), and improving operational efficiencies (9%) as key factors driving growth. The survey also revealed that the growth of video surveillance is creating new challenges for businesses, which need to find efficient ways to manage systems and store the rapidly increasing volume of raw video footage. Respondents said key attributes needed for their current systems to work more effectively and efficiently were greater capacity (15%), faster speed (11%) and better reliability (9%).
These statistics backed up what we and many in the storage surveillance industry had suspected. In particular, they highlighted that as security systems expand and cameras improve, they will create more and more valuable data, and companies need to be ready to manage this. With the rise of high-definition video and IP cameras, it will be more important than ever to take into account bandwidth needed to run surveillance systems to their maximum efficiency.
It is also critical the system makes it possible to understand and translate the data once it is created and stored securely. This data analysis will not only help in the shorter term with business efficiency and operations, it will help companies stay ahead of their competitors and make better business decisions for the future. As a result, video surveillance, which has historically been viewed as a loss prevention or security tool, could significantly increase return on investment by enabling businesses to turn raw data into useful information that can maximize productivity and even sales.
To bring this to life, if you are the boss of a supermarket chain, monitoring data allows you to collect interesting insights and patterns. These can include understanding people’s movements around the store – where they look first, where they spend the most time browsing, and the busiest times of the day and week. As a result better business decisions can be made – like the best place to position strategically important stock or items on promotion, or where security team members should be placed to monitor any vulnerable or theft-prone areas of the shop floor.
To use another example, if you are a manager of an underground system or rail network, analysing data patterns can allow you to plan ahead, anticipate and avoid problems – everything from easing overcrowding on platforms, preventing scheduling delays, and rerouting when and where necessary. It is this intelligent analysis of data patterns that can improve business operations and ultimately ensure a much better customer experience.
This all sounds great, right? However, to ensure companies have the right kit and tools in place for video surveillance, it is essential they think about the challenges it will bring in terms of storage. Storage should be one of the first things that businesses consider – especially as more and more companies will want to analyse data over longer periods of time.
Relying on traditional desktop drives for video recording surveillance is not good enough. These drives are not built to withstand the constant data writing involved with capturing multiple streams of high definition video. The rigours of today’s video surveillance require true 24×7 operations, 365 days a year, and therefore surveillance systems need drives that can handle that level of workload effectively.
The right type of drive needed for video recording surveillance is one like a Surveillance HDD. This is a high quality and reliable surveillance drive that enhances data integrity, reduces the cost of servicing, and improves its overall lifetime in the field. Unlike other drives, surveillance drives like this one are built to record or write data the majority of the time (90%), playing it back or reading the data only as needed (10%). However, when it comes to the in-depth analysis of surveillance data, enterprise class drives are widely used as they have greater read performance speeds.
As video surveillance continues to grow at an exponential rate, it is essential companies using a desktop or non-surveillance drive make the change to a drive specifically designed and created to deal with the high level workload required. Linked to this, it is crucially important to think beyond traditional video analytics, and interpret the rich and powerful data created for business intelligence and ultimately business advantage. If business do these things they are surely setting themselves up for future opportunities and sustained success.