Over the last few years, cloud storage has transformed the way a business can store and manage its data. From having to store data locally using hard disks, flash drives, and CDs, one can use the cloud for storing all their data hassle-free. Smart video surveillance systems use many devices like cameras and sensors which continuously record data. Using cloud storage helps in seamlessly collecting all of this data in a centralized location which can easily be accessed from remote locations.
What is cloud storage & how it helps in video surveillance?
Cloud storage, simply put, refers to storing your data on remote servers rather than storing them on-site. This means you don’t have to worry about storing and managing the data or about maintenance of additional hardware devices like Hard disks and DVRs. On top of this cloud storage offers some significant advantages over traditional local storage which are explained in detail below.
- Longer data retention
Using cloud storage, you aren’t restricted to a specified amount of storage. As per your needs and requirements, you can instantly opt for more storage without having to make any infrastructure changes.
Unlike on-premise data storage devices that run on the limited space of hard disks, cloud storage is equipped to save up to 200 days of data.
This is particularly beneficial as sometimes during a claim or a case you need a recording of quite an old date and in a traditional local storage system, older recordings are written over by newer ones.
- Remote accessibility
Cloud storage platform collects all your data on a centralized platform, giving you access to all your data at any time from any location you wish. You can retrieve data with the help of a browser-based application and a mobile device with a working internet connection.
Often corporate offices are in different locations than where the warehouse, ATM, or restaurant is situated. The executive doesn’t need to go down to the actual location to look at these recordings with the help of a cloud storage platform. The solution helps them carry out enterprise surveillance procedures without being physically present at the site.
- Multi-user platform
The recorded data can be accessed by any number of people with the proper credentials. No employee has to rely on IT teams to fetch these recordings and can access them instantly, as long as they have authorized access. Different employees may require different parts of the data for varying reasons. A security officer may require them to go over pilferage and thefts while a floor manager might want to monitor the performance of their staff. Both of them can access the recordings at their convenience.
With respect to their profiles, an employer can decide the level of transparent access the employees must enjoy. An employee responsible for overseeing the energy consumption of the site may not have the rights to access any surveillance devices.
- ·Data Security
Having cloud storage means your data is stored off-site on remote servers. This means your data is more secure than it would be in your facility. It is protected from a variety of threats like accidents, fires, theft, vandalism, etc.
For example, in the case of a fire, the recording could hold evidence of how the fire started but because it is locally stored, it may get destroyed and the real reason for the fire may never be known.
In such cases, cloud backup of all the footage & data recorded proves helpful. It acts as a piece of evidence that unveils the cause of fire & damage, while also keeping all the previously recorded footage safe & sound.
- Back-up footage for evidence
Recording stored safely on the cloud can be used as evidence to confirm and validate events and activities, protect from false claims in cases of accidents and thefts.
As specified in the previous point, cloud backup of footage acts as evidence when an occurrence or incident needs validation.
For instance, a fight between employees can ensue due to multiple reasons. While a verbal argument might not be too harmful, any type of physical violence cannot be tolerated. In such a case, it becomes easy to review the situation and hold employees accountable for their actions. Enterprise surveillance requires the constant accessibility of historical & real-time footage and data that can act as evidence for validation of incidents.
How to Facilitate cloud storage
· Using Cloud-based video recorders
To facilitate enterprise surveillance, multiple types of video recorders can be used depending upon individual business needs. The three main video recording devices are DVR (digital video recorder), NVR (network video recorder) and CMVR (cloud management video recorder). A DVR is an obsolete technology that only supports local storage whereas NVR on the other hand can be used to facilitate cloud storage. NVR has a small amount of storage to collect data from multiple IP cameras and further upload it to the cloud. Because of a small amount of storage capacity, NVR can support both cloud and local storage.
CMVRs are the most advanced video recorders, as these facilitate both local & cloud storage. These scalable devices can connect with cameras over the network, centralize all data collected via different devices and even allow you to schedule data transmission from local storage to cloud.
It provides scalability in case you want to expand your surveillance infrastructure in the future. It can detect faults in devices within the system. It can also make sure all data traffic is encrypted, meaning no unauthorized person can tap into your system and get hold of your recordings.
· Direct IP configurations
On the other hand, instead of using an NVR or CMVR, we can directly configure IP installations over to the cloud. IP cameras are designed in such a way that they can capture, analyse, process and transmit data directly, without requiring any on-site recorders. These cameras have limited inbuilt storage while most of the data is stored directly on the cloud. For enterprises that do not require on-site data backup, this solution cuts down on investment in any type of video recorders, enabling direct access to footage via web-based browsers or mobile applications.
· Partial cloud storage
Most businesses already have an enterprise surveillance infrastructure set up with analog cameras for which they would have made a significant capital investment. They might not want to change their entire infrastructure and incur additional expenses of setting up a dedicated smart surveillance system. Such businesses can use Hybrid video recorders or XVRs which can help them adopt smart solutions while also supporting existing infrastructure.
XVR enables you to use both analog cameras and IP cameras simultaneously. This gives you the power to decide important areas like vault rooms, server rooms, to be under IP camera surveillance for quick threat detection while less important areas like job floors, waiting rooms can be under the supervision of simple analog cameras.
Cloud storage offers businesses a lot of useful functionalities which directly and indirectly help in improving efficiency and bringing down operational costs. We can see through the blog that cloud storage can be facilitated in several different ways depending on a business’s budget and requirements. All businesses including QSRs, warehousing, manufacturing, BFSI, etc. can benefit from adopting cloud storage. Executives of these businesses must see how they can adopt this technology to give their business an advantage over others.