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With digital video on the rise in enterprises, storage teams will play a key role in accommodating the petabytes of data that can be generated by video surveillance systems.

With the high cost of digital video surveillance systems falling, organizations can now buy additional IP video technology and do much more with video surveillance data. In addition to combating fraud and crime, companies are applying analytics to video data to aid merchandising, operations and customer service. "The advent of IP video is one of the key things that changed surveillance video from a sleepy technology backwater to something that IT needs to get involved in," says Steven Norall, senior analyst and consultant at Taneja Group, Hopkinton, MA.

Industry researcher Frost & Sullivan, Palo Alto, CA, sees IP as the next phase for the surveillance industry and one that will have a far-reaching impact on storage. According to company research, "the most important advantage in an IP surveillance network is the capability of storing large quantities of video footage in a relatively limited storage space with much higher image quality than analog networks."

"Companies doing surveillance are generating a lot more data, 24/7. The data is increasingly high rez. Now they want to see a recognizable face," says Rick Bentley, CEO at video

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surveillance system integrator Connexed Technologies Inc., Palo Alto, CA (see "Multiterabyte video production," below).

Multiterabyte video production
Video production promises to be a sizeable niche for storage. In this market, data protection and speed are paramount. "We need over 350MB/sec and RAID 5 protection," says Walter Biscardi, Jr., founder of Biscardi Creative Media in Sugar Hill, GA.

Previously the company attached arrays directly to its Mac workstations via FireWire. "It was fast, but there was no protection. It was JBOD," says Biscardi.

After looking at a number of external array vendors, Biscardi opted for two 8TB arrays from Maxx Entertainment Digital with Atto Technology Inc. RAID 5 controllers. In addition to RAID 5 protection, the system delivers write speeds of 488MB/sec and read speeds of 429MB/sec when working with a 4GB file and a 1920x1080, 10-bit RGB frame size. "This represents leading-edge storage for a boutique shop like us," says Biscardi. "Others might go with smaller arrays to save money." The company paid less than $1,000/TB, including the Atto controller with RAID 5.

This was first published in January 2008

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