Seagate Technology plc has announced that its SkyHawk™ AI hard disk drive (HDD), the first drive created specifically for artificial intelligence (AI) enabled video surveillance solutions. Building on Seagate’s 10-year track record of delivering surveillance optimised storage performance, SkyHawk AI provides unprecedented bandwidth and processing power to manage always-on, data-intensive workloads, while simultaneously analysing and recording footage from multiple HD cameras. 

Video analytics and AI

Analytics on video surveillance hardware is growing exponentially, forecasted to increase from 27.6 million shipments in 2016 to 126 million shipments in 2021 (Cropley, 2017), as hardware manufacturers continue to include analytics sensors on network video recorders (NVRs). This will only increase as AI – particularly deep learning and machine learning applications, such as facial recognition and analysing irregularities in behaviour – become increasingly prevalent. In parallel, the need for fast video analytics will continue to rise, increasing the workload burden on NVR storage.

“The use of AI technology in surveillance is steadily increasing - both in the edge and backend installations such as retail fronts and large city traffic management. Seagate has led the surveillance storage market since its early days, a decade ago, by delivering industry-leading HDD products that have enabled more than 5X increase in exabytes during this time period,” said Sai Varanasi, Vice President, Product Line Management at Seagate Technology.

“We are excited to introduce smart, purpose-built SkyHawk AI solutions that expand the design space for our customers and partners, allowing them to implement next-generation deep learning and video analytics applications.”

AI for intense workloads

SkyHawk AI is ideal for intensive computational workloads that typically accompany AI work streams, as its high throughput and enhanced caching deliver low latency and excellent random read performance to quickly locate and deliver video images and footage analysis. This enables on-the-edge decision making, eliminating the latency of exchanging cloud-based data and processing.

Equipped with Seagate ImagePerfect™ AI firmware, the drive reliably records high quality, sharp video footage with no dropped frames, while simultaneously facilitating AI-enabled NVR analytics – ensuring that intelligence gathered through video surveillance footage is not lost.

"Video analytics has been evolving over the past 10 years and is garnering a
lot of attention these days"

“As smart cities, smart transportation, and other surveillance programs become more prevalent, the number of surveillance nodes has reached the hundreds of thousands. Due to the widespread use of high-definition monitoring, the amount of data required in security surveillance has dramatically increased. The efficient collection, analysis, and application of data is becoming ever more critical,” said Guo Xudong, Deputy General Manager of Domestic Sales & Marketing, Hikvision.

“We are excited that Seagate will launch the industry’s first AI optimised surveillance drive which will enable us to efficiently manage data storage and processing challenges, including, but not limited to, our DeepinMind NVR series.”

Industry achievements

“Video analytics has been evolving over the past 10 years and is garnering a lot of attention these days due to the use of AI. Dahua Technology made an early start in AI applications and has since made several achievements in the industry, for example, the newly launched IVSS series,” said Yang Shengwei, Products and Solutions Director, Domestic Sales Operation Center of Dahua Technology. “As a strategic partner, Seagate’s advanced technology will help Dahua to reach a new top in the AI field. We hope with the newly-launched SkyHawk AI drive we can boost the AI application across the surveillance industry.”

“With the rapid advancement of IoT, cloud computing, and big data, we’re entering an intelligent security era. AI is now prevalent in the security market and will be driving the development of the industry in coming years,” said Li Lin, Vice President of Uniview. “Data storage is a key factor for surveillance and we believe with the SkyHawk AI drive we can optimise the performance of Uniview’s systems and increase value for our clients.”

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