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Video cameras are seemingly everywhere these days. Advances in IP video surveillance hardware and software coupled with increasing concerns for public safety has fueled an unprecedented rise in fixed and mobile video surveillance adoption in law enforcement, cities, retail locations, airports, large venues, and workplaces around the globe.
It’s estimated that the average person is captured on surveillance more than 75 times per day. A single day of video surveillance is estimated to be collecting more than 500 petabytes (PB) of data—and that number is increasing. The sheer volume and size of high-resolution video being recorded has many organizations struggling to adapt to their growing storage requirements.
Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) technologies like facial recognition are delivering new insights and greater value to organizations that collect and store video data—everything from helping law enforcement to solve crimes faster to enabling shopping malls with the ability to analyze customer traffic patterns.
Analysis of video data over time has the potential to unlock unprecedented value for users of digital video surveillance solutions… but only if there is an affordable way to store all that data.
Save 80% versus AWS S3…and even more, compared with single-source surveillance system vendors that markup bundled storage.
Access video files when you need it with speeds faster than the competition.
Protect your footage from loss due to ransomware, accidental deletion or changes with immutable data storage.
Hot cloud storage means no data tiers: you get fast access to all of your video footage at the same low price.
Learn about the benefits of Wasabi hot cloud storage for your industry.
A recent report estimates the total market for video surveillance will grow from nearly $37 billion in 2018 to more than $68 billion by 2023. Most of this growth is due to the continuing migration from analog to IP-based video surveillance systems. Advantages of IP video include lower costs, higher resolution images, greater scalability, ease of installation, integration with existing IP networks, and remote access. Continuing decreases in the cost of IP cameras has fueled increased adoption of these systems worldwide, creating a significant demand for better, more cost-effective storage solutions.
Camera resolution continues to improve every year. That’s good news when you need to zoom in on an image for facial recognition, or to read a license plate. But it’s bad news for the budget because higher resolutions equate to larger data files. Every time you double the number of pixels along the x and y-axes, you quadruple the number of pixels in the image and the amount of space required to store it.
How do organizations typically cope with the growing cost of storage? The same way they did in the analog days of VHS tapes: they delete stored data and record over it. It’s a compromise between controlling costs and losing potentially valuable information.
In law enforcement, as crimes were committed, officials could quickly put a hold on any relevant data to make sure it wasn’t erased. Anything not flagged as important would be deleted. If the footage turned out to be needed later–for example, to investigate whether a suspect had been casing a particular crime scene–investigators were simply out of luck. Today, however, with the rise in terrorist attacks and mass shootings, many government agencies and municipalities are mandating that surveillance videos be stored for much longer periods of time.
In shopping malls and large retail stores, video surveillance had largely been used by security as a loss prevention, investigation, and theft deterrence tool. Today, the C-suite and marketing departments are leveraging networked video systems to make better business decisions. By analyzing real-time and stored video data, retailers can track customer behavior and traffic patterns to improve store layouts, evaluate promotional campaigns, enhance merchandising displays, and increase employee efficiency and customer service.
Unfortunately, one of the greatest obstacles standing in their way is the cost of storing all of these very large video files.
Stricter Regulations mean Video Must be Stored for Longer Periods
Tighter airport security and widespread cases of critical footage turning up missing or edited due to poor storage handling have regulatory bodies calling for surveillance videos to be retained for longer periods of time—in some cases, indefinitely.
Airport guidelines require that “events” (defined as thefts, reported injuries, or conflicts) captured on video be stored for seven or more years. A typical airport captures between 20 and 40 events a day. If each event is ten minutes long and captured on ten cameras, that turns out to be 360-720 GB per day that has to be stored for a minimum of seven years!
To illustrate the importance of storage in the purchasing decision, let’s take a look at the two models used to sell surveillance systems for law enforcement:
A leading bodycam vendor charges a flat $80 per month per bodycam, which includes the necessary software and cloud storage. If you have 100 officers, that’s $96,000 per year, or $480,000 over the life of a typical 5-year commitment.
The cameras they sell retail for approximately $800, and they provide a new camera every three years. That means $1,330 per officer—in other words, $130,000 of the $480,000 contract goes toward camera costs. The remaining $350,000 is for storage and other cloud server costs.
As you can see, storage is by far the largest expense. While you benefit from a one-stop shop with everything coming from one vendor, you are also locking yourself into whatever storage solution the vendor uses.
You buy 100 cameras for about $800 each. They should last for 5 years, but let’s be generous and add another ten percent to replace failures. That’s a total of $88,000 for the hardware and another $20,000 for the software. Each camera produces about 500 GB of data to be stored in the first 90 days.
In law enforcement, that storage is purged and reused unless there is a crime where the storage needs to be preserved, usually for 4-5 years. After 5 years, the average officer accumulates about another 500 GB of evidence video, for a total usage of about 1 terabyte (TB).
1 TB of storage with Wasabi costs $5.99 per month or about $72 per year. Multiply that by 100 cameras and the total storage cost would be about $7,200, or about $36,000 over 5 years. A server in the cloud to run the management software costs an additional $500 per year or $2,500 over 5 years.
The total costs for 5 years using Wasabi for storage would be:
That’s a far cry from the $480,000 for the bundled solution.
By purchasing through a systems integrator, you open yourself to more options when it comes to choosing the right data storage solution. With recent innovations in cloud storage technology enabling services such as Wasabi hot cloud storage to deliver data storage that is 80% less expensive than AWS S3 and faster than the competition, the benefits of alternative choices are obvious.
Of course, the system integrator is going want to make a profit, and there will be some additional maintenance costs, but this clearly shows how the new economics of cloud storage 2.0 solutions like Wasabi hot cloud storage can help solve the data storage crisis facing government, law enforcement, or any organization that relies on digital video surveillance.
“Wasabi is far less expensive than traditional storage arrays or other cloud storage services. And the performance just amazed us. The read times with Wasabi are actually the same as with local storage.”
Wasabi hot cloud storage is an ideal solution for cost-effective, secure and compliant retention of large video surveillance files. Novus Insight is a perfect case in point. The managed service provider uses Wasabi to preserve body-worn (bodycam) and dashboard-camera videos for law enforcement agencies.
Bodycam programs can generate thousands of hours of video every day. All that footage must be safely preserved for trial and securely archived for years (or permanently for homicide cases). Wasabi provides eleven nines (99.999999999%) of object durability, protecting videos against disk failures and media errors. Our data immutability protects against administrative mishaps, malware and ransomware. And our pay-as-you-go pricing model, with no hidden fees, helps the MSP improve business results by tightly aligning operating expenses with service revenues.
NOW YOU CAN. Wasabi is here to guide you through your migration to the enterprise cloud and to work with you to determine which cloud storage strategy is right for your organization.