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For enterprise storage managers, this has the makings of a good news-bad news joke: The good news is the new source of deep pockets--the security department--ready to buy terabytes or even petabytes of networked storage. The bad news is that the storage group will have to quickly get up to speed on how to store this new stream of data. Video surveillance requires a different approach to storage requirements, capacity planning, data protection and more.

IP video
The IP

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video surveillance storage market is on a steady growth track. Garnering $767 million in revenue in 2003, the market is projected to reach $1.7 billion in 2008 and top $2.9 billion by 2013, according to Frost & Sullivan.

"Storage stands to receive a large chunk of that money, currently about 25%," reports Dilip Sarangan, research analyst in the North America AutoID & Security Practice at Frost & Sullivan. "Storage is the largest and most expensive component in a video surveillance system."

As soon as the video surveillance stream has been digitized and directed across a network, companies can implement shared, scalable network storage instead of being limited to the storage typically attached to each digital video recorder (DVR). "DVRs create islands of storage," says Lee Caswell, chief strategy officer and founder of Pivot3 Inc. in Spring, TX. Islands of video storage suffer from the same inefficiencies and unnecessary management overhead as the islands of data storage that drove enterprises to implement SAN and NAS to consolidate their storage.

Of course, companies don't need the latest IP video cameras to take advantage of digitized video. "Companies still use a lot of analog cameras," says Caswell. "They aren't going to replace those cameras that fast because today there is still about a $200 price delta between an IP camera and a conventional video camera." By using an encoder, companies can capture and digitize the incoming analog video data stream before shipping it over a LAN to networked storage.

The importance of IP video can be seen in the arrival of a new class of video product, the network video recorder (NVR), which captures data feeds from multiple cameras for storage on directly attached disks. "The NVR is like the old DVR except that it attaches to the network. You can log in remotely and access data or manage it over the network," says Bentley.


This was first published in January 2008

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