Over the past year, we’ve heard a lot of big buzzwords in conversations at different conferences, meetings and events. Deep learning, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity are hot topics, and these trends will undoubtedly define the landscape over the coming year. Other issues, mostly IT related, are also making their way into more and more surveillance-focused conversations and to me, none is more complicated — or beneficial — than hyperconvergence.
What is hyperconvergence?
Don’t worry if you haven’t heard the term before; you’re not alone. But it’s a concept dominating the IT space. So, what is it exactly? Network World defines hyperconvergence as an IT framework that combines storage, computing and networking into a single system to reduce data centre complexity and increase scalability. Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) delivers a simpler, more practical and cost-effective alternative, reducing data centre costs and complexity by integrating SAN and server virtualisation capabilities into a single software-defined infrastructure.
But what does that mean? What you need to know is that HCI provides the benefits of enterprise-class IT infrastructure - think of the robust performance, resiliency, manageability and scalability IT users expect - without the high cost and complexity. However, more importantly, it can be optimised to meet the unique storage needs of the video surveillance market. Let’s look at why this trend is redefining options for video storage.
Video storage infrastructures
I once visited a site where the surveillance director showed me a box of CDs and USB drives that once served as the location’s “video library.” Nowadays, data is considered a just a bit more valuable to organisations: a lot more valuable! In fact, video surveillance is now considered the largest Big Data application in the world!
The amount of video captured on a daily basis is growing at an exponential rate — making storing it a monumental challenge
Businesses are leveraging video for all kinds of purposes – providing more business and operational value, making critical facilities more secure – and use cases will only expand in the future. The amount of video captured on a daily basis is growing at an exponential rate — making storing it a monumental challenge.
Capturing and storing video surveillance data has never been easy. The application present unique challenges to traditional IT and storage infrastructures, mainly related to storage capacity and ingest rates. You’ve experienced it: Standard IT servers and Direct Attached Storage (DAS) appliances cannot keep up with the complex requirements of today’s surveillance storage environment. More sophisticated IT SAN and enterprise storage solutions are prohibitively expensive and complex to manage.
Hyperconvergence for data security
HCI is your opportunity to escalate your security operations to the next level. Designed as an IT solution to answer the challenges found in data centre and video storage environments, HCI empowers organisations to consolidate infrastructure and grow to petabyte-scale. When deployed in video surveillance applications, storage and throughput capacity can be scaled linearly as an organisation’s security and business requirements evolve; a critical benefit considering today’s data-driven business needs. Most importantly, system uptime and data protection prevent loss of critical information.
HCI is your opportunity to escalate your security operations to the next level
Looking for ease of system management? HCI eliminates the process of managing disparate platforms, learning vendor-specific management utilities and overseeing complex system administration. Instead, a single platform handles provisioning, monitoring and healing without user intervention. In return, stakeholders gain higher levels of performance, resiliency and scalability than can be provided by their internal IT organisations – and at a lower cost.
Simplified security operations
Simplicity is vital in today’s business environment where everyone is doing more with less. Small teams are tasked with big projects, and technology should be easier to use to allow users to focus on the task at hand, whether it is ensuring a secure environment, better managing operational processes or concentrating on building opportunity. The University of Central Florida is an excellent example of an organisation that invested in HCI to simplify its security operations while improving the safety of their constituents.
With the incorporation of this platform, the university consolidated 58 standalone servers and a variety of DVRs that were all running separate software and being separately managed. With a modernised infrastructure built on HCI, IT staff and security personnel centralised and greatly simplified system management, while ensuring video is securely storage and immediately accessible when they need it- particularly in emergency situations. HCI also gave them the ability to scale their infrastructure seamlessly as their surveillance needs expand.
We will highlight more of this deployment in the next installment, but in the meantime, consider that HCI is just one of the new IT solutions that can have a positive impact on your business, surveillance investments and data. There are many emerging solutions to consider and evaluate as you seek to modernise your operation. With innovations being introduced on a daily basis, the sky is the limit.