How to Select Reliable Storage Product

Product Exploration
How to Select Reliable Storage
Feeling awed by the latest array of storage solutions? Buyers should pause before taking out their
wallets. There are some factors that should be discussed and thoroughly understood before one buys
the dream solution that has all the right features and functions, with minimum problems.
By Camille Shieh
electing suitable components
to build a resilient and
dependable storage solution
is based on various factors. “A
customer ’s buying habit seems to
be based on a triangle of budget,
functionality and reliability,” said
Mark Harraway, Country Manager
of the U.K., Controlware. “If the
buyer has the budget, it is possible
to build a system with all the right
features and no single point of
failure. If budget is limited, functionality might be cut back.” To enjoy
the features of a storage solution
working to its fullest potential, a
balance between the three factors is
tricky and involves planning.
Primary and backup storage
arrangements should be based on
four points of consideration:
1. how critical the stored information
2. ease of access and management,
3. the amount of data transferred and
4. the purpose of storing data.
Storing data locally at the D/
NVRs with backup in extended
storage or vice versa are both
workable approaches with the
most up-to-date energy saving and
redundancy mechanisms. “There
are many things that buyers hadn’t
thought about prior to talking with
service and hardware providers, and
FEB 2011
providers can help out by laying
out the buyers' requirements,”
Harraway said. “‘Do you want a
fully redundant network?’ ‘Do you
want RAID-5, RAID-6, RAID-10?’ By
taking buyers through the analytical
and functionality operation
processes, providers are able to
present a design that incorporates all
If budgets are limited, buyers must
decide what functions to forego.
“To simplify the design closer to the
buyer's budget level, one should
start with discussing the full disaster
recovery plan,” Harraway suggested.
“Imagine and discuss what the worst
case scenario might be, and eliminate
all other features and functions
that are unnecessary. Verticals have
different degrees of accepted risk —
for instance the same level of threat
posed for banking and the public
sector would result in different
The More Advanced, the
Going for the latest and most
advanced technologies does not
guarantee the best result in terms
of both equipment and investment.
“As most surveillance data is
typically not considered mission-
▲ To enjoy the features of a storage solution working to its fullest potential, a balance between budget, functionality and reliability is tricky
and involves planning.
Product Exploration
critical, the requirement for hotswappable storage, for instance, is
not imperative,” said Ken Maughan,
PM of March Networks. “These
types of storage systems add costs
to the overall solution that are not
required. Having a storage system
that is easily serviceable with
minimum downtime usually suffices
in most situations.”
Users should consider the
environment and circumstance they
are monitoring and decide whether
advanced features such as high
availability (HA) are needed. HA
increases costs significantly, but is
not always necessary. “For instance,
major medical centers would
require instant access to live video
while recording from cameras in
the emergency room on a 24/7/365
basis, from patients treated for auto
accidents to heart attacks, in order
to have a record of proceedings to
protect the patients, staff and facility
in terms of liability,” explained Jeff
Whitney, VP of Marketing, Intransa.
“In this environment, the medical
center needs to install features with
HA support.”
“In contrast, the loading dock and
the parking lot are areas where the
video just needs to be available when
needed, without frame loss, and does
not necessarily need to be viewable
instantly,” Whitney continued. By
evaluating fairly what the specific
requirements are, hardware and
management costs and energy
consumption can be saved.
Modular Approach
Some industry specialists
recommend affordable and modular
storage. “The appliance model
allows storage to be added as
needed without halting recording,”
Whitney said. “The larger the
FEB 2011
storage requirement,
the more appropriate to
use a modular, videooptimized appliance
platform that can scale
recording capacity.”
This approach might
be more cost-saving
initially, as well as more
user-friendly for some
users, Whitney said.
Advancing to
the Cloud
Mark Harraway, Country Manager of
the U.K., Controlware
Ken Maughan, PM at March
For users thinking of
moving data onto the
cloud, there are several
points of consideration.
For instance, a typical
video recorder is able
to store up to 40 mbps
continuously, Maughan
Jeff Whitney, VP of Marketing,
Jay Yogeshwar, Director of Media and
explained. “If this type Intransa
Entertainment, Hitachi Data Systems
of data is to be stored in
the cloud, significant attention must
reality,” he said.
be paid to the network between the
Some manufacturers are observing
recorder and the cloud. It is very
market response to cloud storage
common that recording is continuous
c a re f u l l y. “ T h e re a re p o s s i b l e
and there is no low-period that
transition approaches for cloudcan be used to catch up with the
based solutions, made available
real time video. With the increase
based on market demands,” said Jay
in bandwidth requirements of the
Yogeshwar, Director of Media and
high-definition network cameras, it
Entertainment, Hitachi Data Systems.
might be far more cost-effective to
“Well-established systems that serve
manage and store the video in the
as cloud on-ramps and cloud storage
same location that it is captured.”
will be adapted for the video surveil“Unless there is a network in
lance industry based on market
place to support the bandwidth
demands in the near future.” Cloud
requirements and the reliability
storage is on the horizon.
requirements for network cameras,
Understanding the features and
storage at the edge should be
strengths of existing products
considered,” Maughan said. Also,
out there is not enough, as newer
more cameras have onboard storage
and even more advanced technolshould the network go down, which
ogies are launched. What is more
synchronize their stored video with
important is knowing exactly what
the central recorder. “With these
is needed to utilize equipment for
advances and a well-designed
maximum benefit, as well as leaving
network, central storage becomes a
room for future upgrades.