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For Connexed Technologies, the storage options were so limited it actually started building an iSCSI array. "We looked at SAN and NAS appliances. You can make any array work, but cost and scalability are problems," says the firm's Bentley. Then he found Pivot3. "Pivot3 really scales. It actually gets faster as it gets bigger because each [expansion] box has its own processor."

Pivot3 uses a different approach to RAID it calls RAID Across Independent Gigabit Ethernet (RAIGE). Pivot3 delivers storage in units containing disks and a processor connected by 1GB Ethernet. RAIGE provides what amounts to block-based virtualization and RAID-like data protection across all the RAIGE storage units in what becomes an iSCSI cluster. If a data unit fails, it doesn't affect the operation of the other units--the DVRs keep pumping out data to store on the units still available.

Maybe the biggest challenge storage professionals face will be working with the group that's mainly responsible for surveillance video. "The security people may not be so welcoming," says Caswell at Pivot3. "They see storage as just a small part of the overall solution." They're quite comfortable buying complete solutions from one vendor or integrator.

No matter who controls the video surveillance budget, the storage team will be asked to build out the necessary capacity to

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store video. And they'll have to learn the idiosyncrasies of surveillance storage because it's not going away.


This was first published in January 2008

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