As the world begins to rely more and more heavily on video surveillance for purposes like evidence in critical situations, the platforms where you store and manage your data become increasingly important. Companies typically use cloud, fog, or edge storage facilities for surveillance data, but are these really created equal?
In this article, we’ve unpacked the benefits and disadvantages of each option to help you make the right choice. You can jump to one particular section of the piece by clicking that link below or continue on to read the whole blog now.
Choosing Cloud Storage
It seems like almost every month, we see new, cloud-based solutions appear on the video data storage market. These allow users to stream high-definition footage to virtual servers and offer other innovative and exciting capabilities.
Cloud storage is an excellent option for video surveillance data for companies with enough bandwidth to transmit HD video across their networks because they don’t need to invest upfront in large servers and other hardware.
Some benefits of choosing cloud storage for your video surveillance data include:
- Robust computing power.
- Disaster recovery options, resulting from comprehensive backup services.
- Mobility, because you can typically access your data anywhere in the world without delay.
- Automatic updates and maintenance, which are all taken care of by the cloud storage vendor according to your instructions.
- Scalability that enables you to free up or deploy services and functions according to demand.
- Remote control, allowing you to retain large quantities of data and access them immediately without traveling.
- Cost reduction, because instead of the time-worn CAPEX model, you can take an operating expenses (OPEX) approach to security infrastructure costs.
It’s not all a bed of roses, however. Cloud storage is also subject to some limitations, such as slower transfer times resulting from latency and bandwidth challenges, and security concerns. Users may experience decreased visibility and control over their data assets once they are sequestered in a data center. Management programs can be hacked or compromised, and, with anything less than perfect protection, your network can be open to cybersecurity risks.
Still, the cloud storage model is ideal for companies whose goal is to work with large volumes of video data that aren’t time-sensitive and don’t require real-time responses.
Fog storage combines edge and cloud computing into a single platform, which transmits data via a network of nodes in real-time. This model uses decentralized architecture, distributed data processing, and remote storage facilities located close to the source to communicate intelligently with a central cloud. Data is transmitted from the capture point to a gateway, where it is processed before sending an analytical summary to the cloud.
The advantages of fog computing technology are:
- It brings the user closer to the data by facilitating connection with intelligent devices such as smartphones, tablets, and sensors.
- The fog has high processing power and delivers high performance and a faster response time.
- Fog computing permits low-latency networking connections between devices and analytics endpoints.
- The fog architecture has lower bandwidth requirements than data being transferred to a data center or cloud for analysis.
Fog storage is often used for IoT data because the distributed approach enables better handling of the massive amounts of data generated by smart sensors and intelligent IoT devices. This data type would be too expensive and time-consuming to send to the cloud for processing.
Additionally, the volumes of data IoT systems need to operate correctly are best-kept on-premise. Transferring this data back and forth would clog cloud communications networks, use too much bandwidth, and ultimately lower IoT devices’ performance.
The Excellence of Edge
With the unprecedented quantities of video surveillance data now being analyzed and stored, edge computing offers the ideal option. Time-sensitive data, in particular, is best captured and processed at the edge, meaning near the recording location. This avoids the need to transfer it to the cloud using massive bandwidth and slowing down company networks. Edge storage offers a number of unique benefits, such as:
- Improved speed and reduced latency because it eliminates the transfer of data from endpoints to the cloud and back again.
- Better security and privacy protection because data is kept close to the point of capture and doesn’t enter centralized storage. Even though edge devices can also be hacked, they typically hold limited data rather than complete datasets. This makes edge storage less attractive to hackers and the data less viable for them to acquire.
- Lower operational costs due to less connectivity and transmission back and forth.
- Better reliability because edge computing operates independently from other corporate communication channels. Even when networks are down, data is captured at the edge and stored safely. It can then be transmitted when appropriate to do so. Resilience is also improved because the failure of one edge device doesn’t impact others in the system as it does in a centralized network.
- As with cloud computing, edge computing is remarkably scalable because devices can be added or decommissioned as required. In addition, endpoint hardware and edge devices cost significantly less than increasing a data center’s resources. This makes it more efficient for organizations to scale at the edge than with any other type of data storage.
Edge storage should preferably be part of a bespoke, hybrid solution that also includes fog and cloud components. This gives organizations the best of all worlds.
Healthy Hybrid Options
Hybrid solutions are a favorite of our Razberi family because they provide all the benefits of on-premise control with the reliability and consistency of the cloud. You can create a health hybrid system for video surveillance in two ways.
- Use on-premise hardware to do most of the heavy lifting, with the cloud being used to offload long-term, secure data storage. This option uses onsite servers to gather data from the devices, host the video surveillance software, and run analytics on local hardware systems. When the data is processed, it can be offloaded into long-term storage for compliance, liabilities, or regulatory purposes.
- The second option uses less on-premise functionality and heavier cloud dependence. The on-premise system collects and stores data temporarily before offloading it to the cloud for analytics. Many companies migrate data to the cloud daily or weekly, usually at times when the network is not highly utilized by business operations (e.g., nights and weekends). Once the raw data has been pushed to the cloud, cloud servers run complex analytic functions and then relegate the data to long-term storage.
If you’d like assistance choosing between cloud, fog, and edge computing for your video surveillance data or could use support configuring a hybrid solution, our team is available to assist you.
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