With the proliferation of Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled video surveillance technology, a wide variety of affordable video surveillance solutions are available for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Determining the best solution can be a challenge, especially when it comes to cost effectively matching cameras, software and storage platforms and existing hardware to meet your customer’s needs.
For example, retailers often seek low cost surveillance solutions with enterprise-level functionality and storage. Similarly, the fluctuating operational aspects of government offices of all scopes (local, municipal, state and national) suggest that they would be receptive to proposals for low-cost video surveillance solutions, often supported by little or no information technology (IT) staff, with features that allow room to grow.
The good news is that there is a video surveillance storage and management solution to fit organizations of all descriptions — from simple storage to integrated platforms and hosted models that leverage the power of the cloud. Let’s evaluate the needs of three different types of organizations, taking into account their respective growth profiles, surveillance requirements and technology tolerance.
Case 1: Large Companies and Distributed Enterprises
If your customer is a large, distributed enterprise with many locations, they may be looking for a comprehensive solution that allows for remote management to support large camera counts and multiple installations. Often, this type of organization has been driven to upgrade their existing video management system (VMS) to keep up with the seemingly unending storage demands from regulatory and data retention requirements. It is likely that they have a full IT team to help manage and support deployments, and often, corporate security experts on staff.
Solution: Surveillance Storage Target
Able to support a majority of the most common IP cameras and VMS applications that write to network storage using common Network File System (NFS), Common Internet File System (CIFS) or Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) protocol, a surveillance storage target is a high capacity (up to 36 TB), scalable, localized network storage device that offers advanced data protection.
The simplicity of adding a surveillance storage target into existing video surveillance environments makes it an attractive choice for companies that frequently need to expand storage capacity. With this solution, your large customer can pair its preferred video management software with powerful, secure and affordable storage.
Case 2: Fast-growing Franchise Operation
A fast-growing regional franchise is usually looking to secure up to 10 locations. They are new to video surveillance and seek an affordable, easy-to-use way to add cameras and storage to protect their growing business. The trick, however, lies in doing so without taxing their already limited IT resources and zero IT support in the remote locations. They need the full kit—storage, VMS, cameras and remote system management capabilities—but their budget and technology tolerance points them toward an off-the-shelf solution.
Solution: Integrated Video Management System
An integrated video management system (IVMS) video surveillance solution works with leading VMS applications to deliver unprecedented flexibility for a wide range of SMB, distributed enterprise and home uses. Flexible and easy to deploy, an integrated video management solution is an affordable, all-in-one platform combining smart network storage with VMS and IP cameras.
IVMS solutions often support both embedded and PC-based, third-party VMS applications, ensuring fast, efficient and reliable recording to network storage devices. This solution offers the functionality your customer will need with room to scale in the future. You can start your customer with a modest implementation, featuring a few cameras and several terabytes of storage, scaling rapidly and easily to support as many as 48 cameras per site and up to 36 TB in a single array.
Case 3: Business is Booming
Your customer is a fast-growing SMB with plans to expand to more than 15 locations over the next year-and-a-half. They do not currently have an implemented video surveillance solution, but are anxious to recognize the business intelligence advantages such a solution could enable. With extremely limited IT infrastructure and no security staff, this organization evangelizes the power of the cloud, integrating the use of cloud-based applications like Google Docs, Quicken Online and cloud backup services into their business processes.
Solution: Hosted Video Surveillance Solution
Costing a fraction of traditional digital video recorder (DVR)/network video recorder (NVR) implementations, a hosted video surveillance solution makes it easier and more affordable to monitor physical assets. By linking a cloud storage service provider with a network storage device, IVMS and industry-leading, IP cameras, users can record and store high-definition (HD) video locally with the ability to access standard resolution stored securely in the cloud.
Robust yet simple video monitoring and smart storage solutions are embedded into the system, eliminating the need for separate PCs/servers, operating systems and VMS applications.
For companies without dedicated IT resources (storefronts, bank branches and franchisees), hosted solutions represent a compelling and cost-effective alternative. These growing businesses are often scared off by fixed costs associated with onsite servers, operating systems and VMS applications, and the need for a staff to support them. If your customer has broadband networking capabilities and an inclination toward cloud-based applications and hosted solution-as-a-service models, then a hosted video surveillance solution could be a perfect fit for their environment.
Help Your Customers Realize the Advantages
As you can see, there are many alternatives to consider in addressing your customers’ video surveillance needs. Depending on their surveillance data retention requirements, camera counts, technology tolerance, budget and growth profile, today’s varied solutions can provide cost-effectiveness without compromising performance, capacity or security.
With recent improvements in network-based video surveillance solutions, it has never been easier or more affordable to move your customers to flexible and scalable methods of capturing, storing and accessing business intelligence. Take this opportunity to help your customers align resources and maximize protection by realizing the advantages of a network storage-based video surveillance solution.