The right tool for the job

Network Middle East - - SPECIAL REPORT / EDITOR’S NOTE -

Once upon a time, users could hook up their surveil­lance cam­era ap­pa­ra­tus to their desk­top hard drive, and hope for the best. With time, it be­came ap­par­ent that a spe­cialised stor­age de­vice, built-for-pur­pose for a de­mand­ing surveil­lance en­vi­ron­ment, would serve the task much bet­ter.

For clar­ity sake, the av­er­age desk­top drive can still store surveil­lance feed, and a lot of peo­ple still em­ploy them for this pur­pose, but such de­vices will not give you nearly the per­for­mance and sta­bil­ity a surveil­lance drive will.

Ac­cord­ing to IHS Markit, the video surveil­lance in­dus­try is hav­ing to ac­com­mo­date a ris­ing tide of data stor­age re­quire­ments. The pro­por­tion of higher res­o­lu­tion surveil­lance cam­eras shipped is in­creas­ing. As are data re­ten­tion times and the use of video surveil­lance footage in ap­pli­ca­tions other than just se­cu­rity. These fac­tors and more are stim­u­lat­ing grow­ing de­mand for scal­able, flex­i­ble data stor­age prod­ucts which can cope with the chal­leng­ing re­quire­ments of mod­ern video surveil­lance sys­tems.

A se­cu­rity sys­tem in say, a shop­ping cen­tre, could be record­ing footage from hun­dreds of cam­eras in HD 24 hours a day. Such ex­treme en­vi­ron­ment re­quires a stor­age sys­tem to boot.

For truly ef­fec­tive surveil­lance stor­age, you need a drive that can process large vol­umes of video feed, has the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to man­age and cap­ture mul­ti­ple streams of HD foot- age, is de­signed for ef­fi­cient power con­sump­tion for 24/ 7 read/write record­ing and the as­sur­ance that your footage will be there when you need it. That is, a sys­tem that can record ac­cu­rately with no loss in qual­ity.

More specif­i­cally, an ef­fec­tive se­cu­rity surveil­lance sys­tem re­quires the abil­ity to con­stantly write mul­ti­ple streams of HD footage to the disk as ef­fi­ciently and as ac­cu­rately as pos­si­ble. A failed drive, or even just a few sec­onds when a hard drive drops frames, could mean the loss of crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion when needed most.

The de­mand­ing work­loads of video and surveil­lance ap­pli­ca­tions re­quire hard drives with spe­cialised fea­tures to ac­com­mo­date high-write work­loads, al­ways- on de­mands and con­sid­er­able amounts of video con­tent from mul­ti­ple cam­era streams.

A nor­mal hard drive, in con­trast, is de­signed to op­er­ate for a pe­riod of say 8 hours daily for a 5- or 6- day week, thus these are built with a lower per­for­mance thresh­old. Any longer than that and the chances of fail­ure mul­ti­ply.

Surveil­lance cam­eras are an ex­pen­sive in­vest­ment. It thus makes no sense to splash on ex­pen­sive cam­era net­work only to be let down by a con­stantly fail­ing stor­age drive. Though a surveil­lance HDD will be slightly ex­pen­sive at the out­set, it will be cheaper to op­er­ate in the long run as it does not need reg­u­lar main­te­nance or up­grade due to mul­ti­ple fail­ures.

An­other im­por­tant as­pect is that a surveil­lance drive en­ables long-term re­ten­tion of im­por­tant video archives—a key need for many video se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ments. In fact, across the GCC, govern­ment reg­u­la­tions man­date up to 180 days surveil­lance stor­age.

The Toshiba S300 surveil­lance HDD is such a drive.

The Toshiba 3.5-inch S300 Surveil­lance Hard Drive is de­signed and tested for 24/ 7 re­li­able surveil­lance, built for ca­pac­ity, and longer con­tent re­ten­tion.

With up to 10 TB of stor­age ca­pac­ity and sup­port for up to 64 video cam­eras, the S300 en­sures mis­sion­crit­i­cal surveil­lance con­tin­u­ally records. Real-time drive per­for­mance al­lows higher-res­o­lu­tion video record­ing and stream­ing and longer con­tent re­ten­tion.

A 256 MB buf­fer and high trans­fer rates meet the de­mands of surveil­lance data from higher-res­o­lu­tion cam­era streams. Im­proved real­time drive per­for­mance is achieved through Toshiba’s Dy­namic Cache Tech­nol­ogy op­ti­mis­ing read and write cy­cle cache al­lo­ca­tion through an on-board cache al­go­rithm and buf­fer man­age­ment.

Reg­u­lar hard disk drives with­out RV sen­sors can af­fect the per­for­mance of a multi-bay sys­tem by gen­er­at­ing ‘knock- on’ vi­bra­tion.

The S300 en­sures high re­li­a­bil­ity by min­imis­ing vi­bra­tion ef­fects through con­trol and sens­ing tech­nol­ogy. Mul­ti­ple sen­sors de­tect the slight­est shock and built-in RV sen­sors also com­pen­sate for ro­ta­tional vi­bra­tion - elim­i­nat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of ‘ knock- on’ vi­bra­tion in multi­bay surveil­lance sys­tems.

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