Tiered Storage Enables More Sophisticated Surveillance

Video surveillance environments are typically the domain of security experts, not IT experts. With the growing sophistication of video surveillance technologies and advanced analytic tools creating new options for utilizing retained data, customers need to trust that their VMS and storage systems won’t stand as an obstacle to realizing their full potential. This was a guiding principle for Quantum and Milestone when the companies first explored their partnership.

Not long ago, storing video surveillance data typically depended on expensive primary disk. Few organizations could afford to retain data this way for a significant period of time – many would retain data for as little as 30 days. As a result, these organizations missed the opportunity to leverage their valuable data assets effectively with today’s advanced analytical tools.  This was the first challenge Quantum and Milestone set out to address.

One of the first results of the Quantum-Milestone partnership is a file-based plug-in developed by Milestone’s Custom Development team.  This software plug-in provides a cost-effective storage option to overcome storage challenges posed by migrating video from analog to digital network cameras, as well as by increasing IP camera resolutions. It helps to extend the utility of surveillance video beyond security applications. The integration of StorNext 5 policy-based data management with XProtect VMS yields a system offering transparent access and long-term retention of video surveillance without being limited by costly primary storage for infrequently accessed data.

Early Adopters Gain Efficient Access and Expansion for Surveillance Data Storage

Early adopters of this combined solution include Canadian pioneers in the medical marijuana industry, HydRX Farms. The medical cannabis business depends on video surveillance not just for security, but also to maintain compliance with strict regulations requiring growers to account for every leaf and seed each plant produces. In an industry that spans agriculture and pharmaceutical business models, protecting unique seed strains can be equated with protecting intellectual property, and video surveillance is considered an essential tool.

In both cases, as video surveillance data is ingested, XProtect writes it to Quantum’s storage platform. Data is ingested to the primary tier of storage, and a copy of the data is written to a lower-cost secondary tier — including high-capacity disk, file-based tape, object storage, and cloud — providing both immediate data protection and long-term retention. As the data ages, the files in the primary storage tier expire but are retained in the secondary tier, significantly reducing the impact of moving an additional day’s worth of surveillance data.

The StorNext® policy engine optimizes the balance between access speed in the primary tier and retention economy in the secondary storage tiers. With StorNext, XProtect can efficiently access data that has been retained on secondary storage platforms. In addition, because StorNext virtualizes the secondary tier, the tier can evolve as business needs change, and archived data can be easily accessed as on the primary tier. This tiered approach eliminates the need to groom or alter video in preparation for long-term archiving.

Combining the StorNext file system and XProtect provides direct access to stored data without requiring a third-party program —  unlike some competitors —  to deliver a simple, elegant solution. This approach allows XProtect to utilize more cost-effective storage technologies and enables the system to easily expand with increased bandwidth, primary storage or secondary tier capacity.

Award-winning Partnership

Milestone marked the successful collaboration with Quantum at this year’s MIPS partner community conference, honoring the company with its Technology Partner of the Year Award for 2016. Just weeks later, Quantum was named Best Milestone Solution Partner for 2016 in the Asia Pacific region.  At the U.S. MIPS ceremony, Tim Palmquist, Milestone VP Americas said of Quantum:

Quantum promotes the importance of alternate storage and archive solutions for video. Working closely with the Milestone Marketing team, this partner took the lead to set up seminars and webinars across the country, as well as other collaborative opportunities between our companies. Moreover, they have successfully provided their tape archive solution integration to customers as a cost-effective 10¢ on the dollar compared to spinning disks.

For more details on the joint Quantum-Milestone solution, visit Quantum’s applications and the Milestone Solution portal.

By Wayne Arvidson, Vice President, Video Surveillance and Security Solutions, Quantum Corporation

A seasoned global marketing, product management, and business development executive, Wayne has over 25 years of senior management experience in companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms and drives Quantum’s strategy in the intelligence and security market. He is an expert on best storage practices for video surveillance, and is helping to drive industry transformation by educating the market on the role storage can play as the foundation of a security infrastructure. Wayne has been published in numerous industry publications and is a regular speaker at industry events. He also sits on the Security Industry Association’s Government Affairs Committee, Working Groups on Body-Worn Video Technology and Homeland Security.