Milestone Tests Solid State Storage

Milestone Systems has disclosed it is lab testing solid state drives (SSDs) with Intel Corp. with an eye toward incorporating the high-capacity, flash-based storage technology into its XProtect video management software.

Word of the work came during the annual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium held Feb. 12-14 in Las Vegas. Milestone hosts the annual event for its U.S. channel partners.

Milestone has been evaluating the effectiveness of Intel’s X-25E 32-Gigabyte SATA SSDs for video surveillance storage applications, said Christian Bohn, head of product management at Milestone. The SSDs, which began shipping in October, are flash drives similar to those used with PCs, digital cameras and other consumer devices, yet are larger and designed to accommodate much more information. Data is written directly to flash memory. There are no moving parts.

Storage remains among the most challenging aspects of video surveillance system architecture. Mechanical drives used for storage of live camera feeds, because they are constantly writing large files, handle far more wear and tear than drives used in most conventional IT applications. They also consume large amounts of power and can generate considerable heat.

Milestone’s lab tests, Bohn said, have found that two X-25E SSDs can perform at the same level as a six-disk storage area network (SAN). Early lab work has also concluded:

  • SSDs will reduce power consumption.
  • SSDs will reduce overall cost of the storage solution.
  • Two to three SSDs in Redundant Array of Independent Disk (RAID) 0 configuration, properly right-sized for the application, may improve storage performance.
  • SSDs offer a unique performance boost to Milestone’s XProtect solutions because of the software’s inherent archiving function.

Milestone plans to offer the SSDs as fast short-term storage media, replacing local disk drives. Milestone software feeds live video to local storage, where data accumulates until the next archive cycle. Archival occurs one or more times per day, depending on user preferences, emptying the live camera feed area by moving or copying the video data to the archive.

Currently, the SSD technology is targeted at larger installations, Bohn said. Separately, Eric Fullerton, chief sales and marketing officer for Milestone, said SSDs could be available with XProtect as early as April. He added that the company is looking to ride the price curve, which could decline by over the next 36 months.

Intel currently prices the X-25E SSD at $695 in quantities on 1,000. According to chip manufacturer, the drive handles 35,000 input/outputs per second (IOPS) in 4 KB random read, 3,300 IOPS in 4KB Random Write and 75 microsecond read latency. The product also achieves up to 250 megabytes per second (MB/s) sequential read speeds and up to 170 MB/s sequential write speeds.

Podcast: Milestone Systems
Milestone executives Lars Thinggaard and Eric Fullerton discuss the industry’s economic outlook in this podcast with Security Products Editor-in-Chief Ralph Jensen.

About the Author

Steven Titch is editor of Network-Centric Security magazine.


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