The Future of Video Security

Even before the pandemic, cloud computing was flourishing. It is nearly impossible today to find an organization that doesn’t use some form of cloud service. From applications to operating systems, to web servers, storage, and virtual LANs — an almost infinite array of solutions can be found in the cloud.

No doubt, the adoption of cloud-based tools and services will be a priority for organizations for years to come. The pandemic has brought a considerable acceleration of technology development and a broad demand and acceptance of countless new use cases, all unheard of just a year ago.

Gartner recently reported that the worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 6.3% in 2020 to total $257.9 billion, up from $242.7 billion in 2019. Desktop as a service (DaaS) is expected to have the most significant growth in 2020, increasing 95.4% to $1.2 billion. DaaS offers an inexpensive option for enterprises supporting the surge of remote workers and their need to securely access enterprise applications from multiple devices and locations.

Part of the attraction for a cloud-based services approach is that it offers an easy and efficient way for an enterprise to manage applications and technology with a high level of redundancy, stability, and security. Simply put, cloud computing eliminates the problems of buying and maintaining hardware and software on a user-by-user, workstation-to-workstation basis. Cloud solutions are generally more affordable, which makes them suitable for businesses of any size.

The VSaaS Boom
For reasons mentioned, cloud services are particularly attractive to professional security and surveillance applications. Some of the key factors driving the popularity of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) include the low cost of investment, the increased demand for real-time surveillance data, and the flexible scalability offered by cloud-based solutions.

According to a recent Markets and Markets report, the VSaaS market is expected to grow from $2.2 billion in 2020 to reach $4.7 billion by 2025, and it’s expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16% from 2020 to 2025.

“We continue to see the cloud as a major influencer in the market, particularly in the enterprise space; many large organizations are adopting a ‘cloud-first’ strategy to solve existing challenges,” said Jeremy Scott, national sales manager, North, Milestone Systems. “While many of these organizations are invested in their current technologies, a hybrid environment offers an easy, cost-effective path to leveraging the benefits of the cloud and toward making a full transition over time."

VSaaS can include video management, recording, storage, remote viewing, alerts, and the on-demand use of video analytics and other high-level computing services. In a VSaaS environment, service providers can manage some, most, or all surveillance-related activities, which reduces on-premise (on-prem) IT costs. And because minimal hardware is needed, cloud solutions reduce upfront capital costs and significantly lower entry barriers for organizations to achieve high-level security system capabilities.

The technology stack that was traditionally embedded in devices, clients and servers can now be augmented or replaced with cloud computing and applications provided by cloud and VSaaS providers.

Flexible Solutions
No matter the solution — on-premises, hybrid cloud, Infrastructure (IaaS), Platform (PaaS) or Software (SaaS) as a Service — to match the right customer with the right solution, we must understand the true nature of the customer's operation. Cloud computing unlocks excellent opportunities for designing the right solution for their specific needs.

For example, Milestone Systems now offers a range of products on Amazon Web Services (AWS) that offer flexible, cost-efficient and reliable cloud deployment alternatives to the traditional on-prem VMS systems.

AWS is the worlds’ most comprehensive and broadly-adopted cloud platform. It offers the most secure cloud computing environment available, with services such as compute, storage, database and networking available in seconds. By deploying their VMS from AWS, users save time on system set-up with automated OS and VMS installations and a pre-configured VMS.

In a full-cloud deployment scenario, the only hardware maintained on-prem are the cameras, and possibly an end-device (gateway) used to access the system. This means that the servers, recorders, and storage are maintained fully by AWS 24/7 anywhere in the world.

“Video management platforms, intelligent applications, hardware acceleration, cloud processing — they are all evolving and progressing together. The speed of advancement right now in our industry is remarkable,” Scott said. "Video platforms and applications are getting smarter and more useful, and users are benefiting tremendously from increased automation and new capabilities that augment human decision making."

A Hybrid Approach
For some companies, migrating their on-prem VMS to a pure cloud solution may not suit their operational needs. When an organization needs video surveillance at multiple locations, they may want a hybrid solution that allows them to both easily deploy remote sites and centralize surveillance operations at headquarters. This hybrid solution combines the flexible scalability of cloud-based VSaaS and an on-prem VMS functionality. End-users benefit from uniform access to live video, recordings, and alarms from cameras connected both physically on-prem and virtually through the cloud.

The dynamic nature of cloud computing and the seamless scalability of an open platform VMS make for a highly flexible solution. This helps businesses move away from aging IT foundations and easily scale to meet current and future business demands. Minimal hardware use and shifting to a predictable variable cost model helps organizations achieve cost-efficiency and better results. A cloud solution also means outsourcing a substantial part of the IT infrastructure to global experts, resulting in reliable and continuous operation with less risk of service disruptions.

“Video Surveillance as a Service is maturing and a high level of cybersecurity and system hardening best practices are becoming standard within the security surveillance industry,” Scott said. “As those hurdles are met, VSaaS becomes a very cost-effective option for moving complexity into the cloud. Technology integrators and end-users measure the total cost of safe and compliant ownership for their systems every day, and cloud solutions offer an attractive path to powerful video system capabilities with minimal infrastructure costs or in-house expertise needed.”

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