Video Surveillance Content Storage

It’s no secret video surveillance has increased dramatically over the past decade and everyone knows that even the most modest video takes up a lot of storage. So how is all of this video footage being stored?

Every storage technology has certain characteristics that help system architects determine its practicality. For example, flash storage features fast reads and writes but lacks resiliency. Mechanical hard drives aren’t as slow as tape but are less expensive and more resilient than flash.

While hard drives and flash storage have faster read and write times, tape remains a practical and widely used storage technology for backup and archive. Not all video surveillance content and data need to be stored indefinitely, but when it does tape’s linear format, large capacity, long-term resiliency and low cost make it an especially practical solution.

One of the most prevalent tape drive technologies today is LTO (Linear Tape-Open) with a capacity approaching 18TB (native) and a roadmap to double with each coming generation. LTO tape is built into cartridges that can be removed and stored anywhere making it very easy to manage.

Because of this portability, tape provides a physical layer of protection, often referred to as an “air gap”, against malware and cyber-attacks. This also means all or select content can be stored away in a secure location. For sensitive content this capability is invaluable.

When it comes to long-term storage there is no other reasonable storage technology with greater longevity than tape. Magnetic tape technology far exceeds the bit life rating of a disk drive and has been proven to exceed 30 years of storage shelf life without experiencing bit rot.

Managing and storing the cartridges might not be as convenient as paying for cloud storage but storing surveillance data long-term in the cloud comes with its own set of trade-offs. Local storage is still required to utilize the cloud and the costs associated with capacity and retention duration need to be considered.

Of course, each circumstance is different and tape as a long-term solution needs to be looked at independently while factoring in the variables mentioned above. It might be best to speak with a vendor who specializes in video surveillance storage. They can guide the decision-making process, provide support during all phases of the relationship, and many even manage the solution from end to end if the technical expertise is not available in-house.

If you are considering an LTO tape solution, keep in mind that ATTO Technology improves the capabilities and performance of LTO tape solutions. For over 30 years, ATTO has been a leading provider of high-performance connectivity for backup and archive storage products within workgroups, data center and cloud environments. Our portfolio includes host bus adapters, SMART NICs, Thunderbolt adapters and intelligent bridging products for SAS/SATA, NVMe and NVMeoF, Fibre Channel and iSCSI. We have relationships and certifications with numerous companies that provide backup and archive solutions which include disk storage, tape libraries and software applications.