Network video recorders (NVRs) are at the centre of today’s IP video security systems

Network video recorders (NVRs) are at the centre of today’s IP video systems. The video surveillance market includes a wide range of NVR choices for integrators and end users alike. NVR appliances include purpose-built machines that have embedded software systems as well as servers that are sold by video management system (VMS) software vendors and that have been pre-installed and preconfigured with their latest software capabilities.

This article will take a look at some of the latest NVR products available on the market.

Many choices, common interface

Hikvision provides a full line of NVR appliances, ranging from 4-, 8- and 16-channel plug-and-play models with integrated 802.3af/at PoE to the enterprise-level 9600 Series with options for up to 256 channels. Hikvision’s 9016HQHI “Tribrid” recorder in its Turbo HD line can connect analogue, IP and HD-TVI cameras simultaneously. It has 16 analogue inputs that autodetect HD-TVI or traditional analogue and 16 IP inputs that support cameras with up to 6-megapixel resolution. All of Hikvision’s NVRs use a common graphical user interface (GUI), so integrators only need to learn one GUI.

Targeting commercial applications

Bosch offers a line of video storage for customers who have up to 128 channels with a focus on storage and all-in-one video management solutions. Bosch targets commercial applications, such as retail and hotels – anywhere from small stand-alone sites to multi-site applications.

Bosch’s all-in-one DIVAR IP appliance comes fully loaded with video management software and advanced features that set Bosch appliances apart, according to the company. This includes built-in Dynamic Transcoding technology, which comes standard in the DIVAR IP appliances. Dynamic Transcoding together with the free Video Security app offer instant access to smooth live streams or HD images from a mobile device, regardless of available bandwidth.

Pre-verified and tested hardware

Genetec network security appliances provide access to pre-verified and tested hardware configurations for video surveillance and access control deployments. Preloaded with Windows, Genetec Security Center and application wizards, Genetec network security appliances reduce the time and effort needed to deploy and commission systems in the field.

Genetec has invested in growing its portfolio of network appliances to suit the requirements of projects in various industries, ranging from compact appliances for small sites to highly scalable solutions for more complex system deployments.

For SMBs and other single-site
customers, the appliances offer
a flexible, cost-effective solution
for replacing aging DVRs or
deploying new IP video solutions

The Genetec line of NVR appliance products starts with the SV-16, an entry-level appliance, designed for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB). The SV-32 is designed specifically to meet the needs of larger retail and banking customers. The SV-32 is also powerful enough to host the Genetec mobile server for handheld/mobile devices (smart phones or tablets) with access to advanced mapping functionality.

The Genetec SV-PRO is the best suited for mid-sized enterprise and commercial, governmental and education verticals requiring the support of up to 100 cameras/256 readers. Essentially a 1U rack-mounted server, the SV-PRO was designed to accommodate up to 16 terabytes of storage with available RAID configuration options for added reliability.

Finally, the partnership between Genetec and BCDVideo has yielded a whole range of robust servers for deployments of large-scale, enterprise surveillance systems. The BCDVideo SuperNova Series servers can scale to hundreds of cameras offering on-board storage for up to hundreds of Terabytes. Through BCDVideo, Genetec also offers high performance client workstations designed to use Security Center GPU decoding capability to display more cameras and higher resolution video from a single workstation.

ONVIF-compliant, integrated system-in-a-box

Panasonic System Communications Company of North America brings a range of end-to-end surveillance and recording solutions to the market. The new WJ-NV300 is an ONVIF-compliant, fully integrated network video surveillance system-in-a-box providing full HD and 4K camera viewing and recording of up to 32 channels through a built-in mouse-driven graphical user interface and featuring flexible camera and storage expansion options. There’s no PC required for this all-in-one device, which offers 128Mbps recording bandwidth and two internal HDD slots with 3 and 4 terabyte drive storage capacity. Other features include: built-in full HD video decoder via dual HDMI outputs; real-time H.264 re-encoder to improve streaming to mobile terminals; and free Security Viewer 2.1 Free Android/Apple iOS APP supports mobile control.

The i-PRO WJ-ND400 Network Video Recorder records up to 64 network cameras simultaneously with multi-format recording in H.264, MPEG-4 and JPEG to deliver recording performance to meet the needs of today’s high-resolution IP cameras. The recorder supports up to nine removable 3 and 4 terabyte drives, and flexible recording modes include: Emergency, Scheduled, Manual and Event as well as playback video motion detection search.

A flexible and hardware-agnostic approach

As a software company committed to remaining hardware-agnostic, OnSSI works with leading server manufacturers like BCDVideo, Iomnis, Seneca and VVST to bundle their hardware with OnSSI’s Ocularis video management software, primarily Ocularis PS, Ocularis IS and the newly released Ocularis 5.0 Professional products. When dealers and integrators purchase these appliances, Ocularis is pre-configured, pre-licensed and ready for installation at their customers’ locations.

Latest assortment of NVR products and solutions cover a wide market range
ONVIF-compliant, hardware-agnostic
flexibility and scalability are
some of the features 
trending in the
latest NVR products

By partnering with a number of industry-leading server providers to deliver appliance solutions powered by OnSSI’s Ocularis VMS, these bundled devices can be easily scaled and configured to meet the needs of end users and applications of all sizes. For SMBs and other single-site customers, the appliances offer a flexible, cost-effective solution for replacing aging DVRs or deploying new IP video solutions. Banks, convenience store chains, pharmacies and other multiple-site customers benefit from the convenience of a single, easy-to-use solution for managing and storing video from all of their locations. For larger sites, appliances powered by OnSSI offer the ability to quickly and easily scale their surveillance solutions to accommodate additional appliances as needed and/or to mix and match multiple versions of Ocularis within the same system without incurring additional licensing fees.

Building blocks for a customised, scalable solution

The Milestone Husky Series consists of all-in-one network video recorder (NVR) appliances. Pre-installed and optimised with Milestone System’s video management software (VMS), the industrial-grade surveillance solutions are designed to perform in a variety of configurations to suit any customer – from a single flower shop to a complex multi-site educational campus. Milestone Husky integrated solutions offer entry-level workstation and rack-mounted models. Any business is able to mix multiple models, cameras, and even third-party add-on software for a customised, scalable solution that reduces total cost of ownership without compromising on quality and Milestone’s feature set.

Milestone NVR appliance products include the Milestone Husky M10, an entry-level product for single location business such as retail shops and restaurants. Offering greater customization options, the Milestone Husky M30 easily integrates Milestone XProtect VMS add-ons and third-party hardware and software for comprehensive surveillance solutions, aimed at markets such as education. The Milestone Husky M50, also pre-installed with Milestone XProtect VMS, is a fully-customised, rack-mounted unit, with the highest storage capacity, memory and CPU power for large, complex surveillance environments such as a banking deployment.

Using Milestone Interconnect, all Milestone Husky NVRs can be extended beyond a single site installation using the Milestone high-end XProtect Corporate platform for a centralised view of all connected sites plus the advanced features from the VMS.

Dahua’s large portfolio of
NVR products and solutions
cover a wide market range.
Each NVR series targets a
specific market

Offering Strong Stability and Reliability

Dahua’s complete NVR lineup ranges from entry-level to high-end. For example, the Beneficio series integrates 4K and H.265, giving a good balance of performance to price. This series is suitable for small applications such as home, small office and convenience stores. Dahua also has Pro and Super NVR series that offer strong stability and reliability with integration of value-added functions such as intelligence, POS integration and fisheye dewarping for medium-to-large applications with sophisticated demands.

Dahua’s large portfolio of NVR products and solutions cover a wide market range. Each NVR series targets a specific market. For example, the NVR6000 series is applied in airports and safety city projects, while the NVR4000 series is for retail shops and offices.

Dahua’s robust R&D capability enabled it to introduce an ARM-based H.265 4K NVR. Capabilities provide integrated functions beyond basic demands, such as VMS, POS and fisheye dewarping that make storage simple and smart. Dahua also offers interoperability through partnerships with other third party brands to broaden the selection range for customers. Dahua also emphasises technical support.

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Larry Anderson Editor,

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

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Security at sea: where technology benefits marine environments
Security at sea: where technology benefits marine environments

The term ‘marine’ comes from the Latin mare, meaning sea or ocean, and marine habitats can be divided into two categories: coastal and open ocean. Video surveillance (VS) applications can cover both types of marine environment with system for ships, maritime ports, onshore and offshore installations, etc. We should want to further analyse VS for ships and try to explain the types of ships on which it can be used, the ways in which VS can be used on ships, the typical certifications in use and what features a camera station must have to be installed on a ship. Starting with ships that have a minimum tonnage, around the world we have: liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers.As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth, offering more opportunities for VS Video surveillance for all marine vessels An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas. As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers by sea. This category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodation for a limited number of passengers, but rather includes the likes of ferries, yachts, ocean liners and cruise ships. A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. These ships can also carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda and methanol.A chemical tanker is a type of tank ship designed to transport chemicals and other types of sensitive cargo, increasing the need for better security An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets. Container ships are cargo ships that carry their entire load in truck-size intermodal containers: a technique called containerisation. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container. A cargo ship or freighter ship is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods and materials from one port to another. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Bulk carriers make up 15%–17% of the world's merchant ships and they are specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo such as grains, coal, ore and cement in its cargo holds. For all these ships the protection of vessels, cargo and crew is a priority, that’s why the adoption of VS technology plays a key part in terms of security and safety. Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents, and one way to avoid it is to aid seafarers by providing them with technology and equipment that is reliable and easy to use in all weather and sea conditions. Marine VS encompasses liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, passengers ships, chemical tankers, crude oil tankers, container ships, general cargo ships and bulk carriers Emergency security solutions on ship One of the most important applications for camera stations is during “docking”. Mooring is the securing or confining of a vessel in a particular location with a fixed or a floating object (jetty, pier, ship, barge, buoy, etc.) as various cargo operations are carried out. Docking is the final stage of mooring operations when the ship docks to the jetty. This is a very delicate operation and cameras are very helpful in making sure docking is done without accidents.'Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water, and can happen at any time during the day or night Another important application for camera stations is the Man Overboard detection system (MOB). ‘Man overboard’ is an emergency in which a person has fallen off a boat or ship into the water. Man overboard events can happen at any time during the day or night, in all types of weather and sea conditions, and from almost any location on the ship, ranging from a few tens of feet above the water, to over 180 feet.  When these events occur, the immediate availability of important data is crucial. Accurate confirmation of the event including time of occurrence, location on the ship and location in the sea is critical. A proactive detection system must immediately and accurately detect man overboard events and provide prompt, actionable data to response personnel. A typical man overboard detection system can report a MOB event in under 1 second. VS on a vessel can also monitor the engine room at all times and provide a good view of people working on dock, machinery and stowed equipment. But what are the most important features that a camera station must have to work in one of the most aggressive environments in nature? Marine surveillance must operate in one of the most harsh environments in nature Ruggedised reliability in surveillance First of all, and perhaps it’s obvious, but it’s extremely important to have camera stations with amazing reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion, therefore offering excellent weather protection and increased reliability. Housing units manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, passivated and electropolished, makes the cameras completely impervious to air, water, rusting and corrosion Sometimes ships also use cameras constructed entirely from technopolymer, which guarantees high impact resistance and superior protection from external weather agents. Keeping the camera glass clean at all times is another essential feature, and it can be done via a wiper/wash system that greatly reduces the need for maintenance. In the case of PTZ cameras, the best option would be a great pan and tilt speed (up to 100°/s). What is the operative temperature range for the cameras? Sea is everywhere and therefore ships go everywhere, from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean, so we need cameras that have to be fully operational across a wide temperature range.  -40°C to +65°C covers almost all areas. Analogue or IP Cameras? Actually, both options can be used, especially for applications like docking where it’s important to avoid image delay (as can happen with IP cameras due to the natural latency of data communication over a network). Marine certifications Last but not least, the certifications: Certifications guarantee the quality and reliability of camera stations. There is no compromise! One important certification is the Lloyd’s Register Type Approval which subjects cameras to rigorous testing for performance, vibration (critical on ships), humidity, etc. The application field of the LR Type Approval is VS in public places (e.g. passenger ships), open decks, enclosed spaces that are subjected to heat generated from other equipment, and technical premises. Often, VS cameras used in specific areas of ships, such as hazardous areas, are required to have ATEX and IECEX certifications.

How artificial intelligence is aiding first responders in natural disaster relief
How artificial intelligence is aiding first responders in natural disaster relief

The year 2017 saw some of the worst natural disasters in North America, with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaking havoc on Houston, Texas, and the Caribbean with force of which we haven’t seen before. While many people chose to evacuate these areas, many were left to deal with the devastation and first responders had the difficult job of assessing the damage, rescuing trapped victims and delivering food and supplies. AI-enabled drones and robotics to assess damage In addition, more than 1,800 FEMA employees were deployed to support the hurricane relief efforts along with over 340 workers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Robots could be vital in ensuring that security is maintained within a disaster zone - and they only cost a quarter of a police officer's salary That’s on top of the resources that were already actively working to save lives in the affected areas, including the Texas National Guard, the entirety of which was activated by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shortly after Harvey came ashore. While these rescue workers work tirelessly to make a difference, many times there simply aren’t enough hands to truly help everyone in need. As a result, some companies look at this as a way to introduce technology to the equation that can be easily deployed in the event of disaster, including artificial intelligence-enabled drones and robotics to assess damage, provide initial triage for patients, and provide basic supplies to people in need. While still in the beginning stages, these initiatives are already being implemented in some emerging markets. Robots as mobile sentries Disaster situations tend to bring out the best in people as evidenced by those who turn out en masse, either on their own or by volunteering with service organisations, to try and help their fellow citizens following storms, earthquakes and other types of calamities.Utilising a robot instead of a human as a sentry means less law enforcement and/or security personnel Unfortunately, these types of incidents also bring out the worst in humankind in the form of looters and others who seek to take advantage of people who have lost everything. Although it should be noted that fears and reports of looting are often overstated during events like Harvey and other disasters, there’s no denying that keeping the peace and making sure that things do not descend into chaos and anarchy during what is a stressful time for all involved is paramount. Given that law enforcement and the National Guard must devote the majority of their attention to other recovery efforts, robots could be vital in ensuring that security is maintained within a disaster zone. In addition to not having to allocate manpower to security, which again involves bringing in people and placing further burdens on available resources, deploying robots to act as mobile sentries offers a number of benefits. Sustainable resources Obviously, there are cost advantages to using robots rather than people. For example, in a typical commercial environment, robots can be deployed for about half the cost of a traditional unarmed guard and they only cost about a quarter of what it takes to employ a police officer in a law enforcement-type application. Most robots are also outfitted with surveillance cameras, which provide authorities the ability to constantly monitor an area and record video for evidentiary purposes. Artificial intelligence-enabled drones and robotics aid to assess damage, provide initial triage for patients, and provide basic supplies to people in need during a natural disaster  Perhaps the most appealing benefit that robots offer to emergency management officials in a security role during disaster recovery efforts is sustainability. Robots never get tired, nor do they have to use the bathroom, eat or take a break. With the abilities afforded by AI, robots can also navigate any designated area autonomously to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior or alert first responders to those who may need aid.PPattern recognition programs are essentially the building blocks that make the larger umbrella of general AI possible The SMP Robotics S5 Security Robot from Robotic Assistance Devices, for example, can run for as long as 20 hours without needing to be recharged and a single operator working from a central command post could manage up to 25 of them. Robotic sentries to address short-staffing Having robots patrol certain locations also reduces the likelihood of violent encounters between people and security forces. It’s not uncommon for tensions to boil over in situations where people feel hopeless and they can sometimes lash out at the very people sent to help them. Such a situation occurred following Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast in 2005. Just days after the Superdome was converted into a makeshift shelter for evacuees, conditions inside the massive building began to deteriorate and a National Guardsman was assaulted one night inside a locker room. The attack resulted in troops putting up barbed wire fencing in various places around the building for protection from the increasingly agitated crowd. Last but certainly not least, utilising a robot instead of a human as a sentry in the aftermath of a disaster means that less law enforcement and/or security personnel will have be pulled from surrounding areas, many of which are already short-staffed as it is.Robots are outfitted with surveillance cameras, which provide authorities the ability to constantly monitor an area Law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs from adjacent communities and neighboring states almost immediately pour into the hardest hit areas following a disaster; however, this also leaves their respective agencies somewhat vulnerable themselves should they encounter a devastating event of their own. The use of just 50 robots, because they can work more hours, could mean that roughly 120 first responders could stay put in their own cities, towns and counties. New possibilities with artificial intelligence While drones still largely require a human operator to chart their flight paths and control their movements, the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the capabilities of machines to work autonomously. Though it may sound like something straight out of a science fiction novel or movie, there are already numerous robotic technologies that leverage some form of AI technology today. Of course, there is still a bit of confusion about what exactly AI is as well as some of the underlying terminology surrounding it. Generally speaking, AI is the ability of a computer to imitate the cognitive thinking and decision-making capabilities of humans. AI is the ability of a computer to imitate the cognitive thinking and decision-making capabilities of humans Some of the terms used in conjunction with AI, such as machine learning, deep learning and neural networks, refer to the ability of software programs to recognize patterns in large amounts of ingested data. Pattern recognition programs such as these, labeled by some as ‘narrow AI’, are essentially the building blocks that make the larger umbrella of general AI possible.Robots used in disaster scenarios could help maintain law and order, assist in search and rescue operations, and provide vital communications capabilities Remote physical security capabilities The physical security industry has recently been inundated with technologies that leverage different components of this narrow AI category. The manned guarding segment, in particular, has seen the introduction of a variety of robot guards over the past several years, which have been deployed in a range of different applications. Aside from serving as a force multiplier, robots with machine learning capabilities give security end users the ability to have an expanded presence in locations or situations characterised as too 'dull, dirty or dangerous' to place a human guard. For example, while it may not be feasible to have a human patrol the outskirts of a vital electric substation located hundreds of miles from the nearest town, having a robot that can easily traverse the harsh terrain and notify the proper authorities when something is amiss would be a viable alternative.Sometimes health and safety concerns make it dangerous to have a human watch the site, such as at toxic waste dumps - robots do not have this issue Technology as force multiplier in disaster management There are also situations where health and safety concerns simply preclude the ability of having a human watch the site, such as at toxic waste dumps, but this is not the case for a robot. Similar to these situations where having human guards is not desirable or even possible, robots could be used in disaster scenarios where they could help maintain law and order, assist in search and rescue operations, as well as provide vital communications capabilities. Robots and drones that are equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities can offer first responders a look into the aftermath of a natural disaster and serve as a force multiplier in these cases. We’re seeing the rise of the use of this kind of technology, and as the world faces more and more weather-related and man-made disasters in the future, they will become a part of the fabric of emergency response.

Government institutions should utilise VSaaS for an integrated video surveillance system
Government institutions should utilise VSaaS for an integrated video surveillance system

Video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) is not just for commercial organisations. Federal, state and local governments can also realise benefits from the technology—and use it to deliver an integrated video surveillance system that addresses some of their unique security needs. Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) What is VSaaS? Simply stated, it’s a cloud-based video surveillance solution that is packaged and delivered as a service over the internet. The price varies depending on the features of your plan (i.e. number of cameras, amount of storage, software features, etc.), and you pay a monthly subscription price to use it. How does it work? Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are installed at site locations, and the video is captured and streamed to a service provider’s data center via an internet connection. The video management software (VMS) runs on backend infrastructure provided by the service provider’s cloud. All video processing is done in the cloud, and all that is required to view the footage is an internet-connected device and a web browser. Retail, health care, education, and transportation all benefit from the flexibility and architecture of VSaas Growing VSaaS providers Solution providers such as Axis Communications, Genetec, and G4S among many others offer VSaaS solutions, and the market is growing. According to IHS Markit, the market is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2021. VSaaS is a solution with cross-industry appeal. Retail, health care, education, and transportation all benefit from the flexibility and architecture of the solution. But how does VSaaS address the surveillance needs of government institutions? Geographic coverage and access To protect cities and towns, law enforcement must watch over widespread geographic areas. Their work involves monitoring and policing many different neighborhoods, buildings, garages, parks, and walking paths—basically anywhere there is property or people to protect. They rely on video surveillance to help them keep these environments safe. But it’s more than local law enforcement officers who use video footage. From local city officials to federal and state law enforcement agencies, many other people, at times, need access to video footage captured by city surveillance cameras. Centralised remote monitoring How does VSaaS help? VSaaS enables the installation of cameras throughout cities and communities and stream footage to a central location via the Internet. Because the system is centralised, it eliminates the need to manage a lot of different standalone DVRs or NVRs, which enables organisations to monitor a large area from a remote command center. VSaaS enables the installation of cameras throughout cities and communities and stream footage to a central location via the Internet Plus, anyone with proper credentials can access the footage from an Internet-connected device—whether that be a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. That makes it easier for multiple agencies to work together, which in turn can improve communication and response time to incidents. Budget concerns and flexibility Tight budgets are normal in government. As a result, it’s often a challenge to procure capital for new technology purchases—and that sometimes leads to underfunded projects and difficulty upgrading old technology. VSaaS changes the expense model. It allows you to shift from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model, where large capital funding is required to purchase equipment, to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model, where the costs of the solution become an operating expense. Since the cameras, installation, storage, and software are packaged into a service, you don’t need a large capital outlay up front—you simply pay a predictable expense every month. VSaaS provides the capability for you to increase storage capacity when you need it Feature and storage capacity upgrade features VSaaS also makes it easier to upgrade old technology. When new technology becomes available, you can upgrade to it as part of the service. You no longer have to stick with old technology because of capital budget restrictions. Instead, you can upgrade to better cameras and management software features as they become available. The same is true for storage capacity. As camera resolution increases, the amount of data captured also increases. In addition, with the evolution of smart city technology and big data analytics, video data has become more valuable. As a result, there is a need not only to store more data but also to keep that data accessible for a longer period of time. VSaaS provides the capability for you to increase storage capacity when you need it. You can scale to accommodate growth, and since the storage is delivered as part of the service, you can leverage the “pay for use” model to manage your costs. On-premise storage or hybrid Where should surveillance video be stored? It’s an important question. After all, government entities must always comply with data privacy laws and handle data properly to ensure it can be used as evidence if needed. As a result, officials may prefer to be selective about where they store video data. In fact, the concern over regulatory requirements and security and privacy issues, according to Gartner, will lead governments to implement private cloud at twice the rate of public cloud through 2021. The provider’s ability to store large amounts of data cost-effectively makes VSaaS possible That’s not necessarily a show-stopper when it comes to video surveillance. Some VSaaS providers offer hybrid options. Plus, one of the things that makes VSaaS possible is the provider’s ability to store large amounts of data cost-effectively. Because service providers can manage their storage infrastructures economically, they can offer their service at an attractive price. Multi-tier storage infrastructure In a way, government institutions (as well as commercial organisations) can do the same thing. If a government entity—for example, a small municipality—wanted to store their data on-premise or implement a hybrid configuration, they could solve some of their video storage challenges by implementing a multi-tier storage infrastructure similar to what a VSaaS provider might use to provide the actual service. A multi-tier storage infrastructure uses different storage media—disk, object storage, tape, and cloud—and combines them to deliver the total capacity needed while balancing performance and cost. The diagram below is an illustration of a multi-tier infrastructure: As the diagram shows, storage capacity grows using lower cost forms of media as volume and long-term retention requirements change. Files are moved between tiers based on user-defined policies. When the policies are met, the files are moved to a lower cost tier. Some file systems allow for multiple copies be written at ingest which not only minimises the traffic of moving files across the network, but also provides much needed data protection through a second copy on a lower-cost tier. This scenario enables you to optimise the amount of high-performance media in your infrastructure and lower the long-term cost of retaining files. VSaaS offers many benefits for government institutions and commercial organisations alike Choice of implementations VSaaS offers many benefits for government institutions and commercial organisations alike. But not every implementation has the same needs or requirements. The good news is, when it comes to video surveillance solutions, you have options. You can leverage the benefits of VSaaS, in either a public cloud or hybrid scenario, depending on the service provider. Or if your needs dictate, you can achieve some of the same capacity and cost-saving benefits you would get from a VSaaS solution by implementing an on-premise solution based on a centralised VMS system and multi-tier storage. The choice is yours.