Articles by Robin Hughes
Prices and delivery times for essential components in CCTV systems are being driven up as demand soars from other industries. Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes explains the current state of the market. Challenges Component shortages and supply chain challenges are a hot topic in just about every industry based on semi-conductors and silicon chips right now, and security is no exception. It’s common knowledge that the global Covid lockdown caused a shutdown in the mining of silicon and spherites as large industries such as motor manufacturing cancelled or postponed their chip orders – this has caused a supply gap that every industry is feeling. However, there is a second challenge that is hitting the security sector particularly hard, and it may not be one you are expecting – cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies and security When people discuss cryptocurrencies and security, thoughts often turn to cybersecurity and ransomware payment tracking. But the issue for the majority of the security industry comes from crypto mining. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) are a key component in CCTV, they decode images and display them onto screens. With the increase of video analytics, these have also become key to running the complicated algorithms required for creating the metadata and presenting it in a meaningful way for end-users. However, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining. Demand for GPUs When Bitcoin prices were relatively low, it was hard to justify the cost of a GPU and the associated power consumption for Bitcoin mining applications. But as the price of Bitcoin has increased exponentially, demand for GPUs to do the number-crunching has grown dramatically causing a major shortage and huge price hikes. This rise in prices is not correlated with an increase in technological performance on the new GPUs, it is entirely a case of demand outstripping supply and a resulting bidding war. To put this in context, cards are currently going new for around twice the original price and manufacturers simply cannot keep up with the demand. Chia On top of this, there is a new cryptocurrency creating a new threat to a different part of the CCTV industry. A new ‘environmental’ cryptocurrency called Chia has dispensed with the processing power and electricity demands of traditional GPU mining, instead of utilising the spare storage space on hard drives (HDD) to verify blockchain transactions (‘proof of space’). The demand for this particular cryptocurrency has to date called on 30 Exabytes of storage since May this year – that’s 30 Billion Gigabytes of data, and it’s not just HDDs, high-capacity SSDs are also in demand. This is causing massive hard drive supply issues globally, thus rocketing prices for those that are available. HDD consumption The security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days to 6 months Of course, this has a particularly large knock-on for the CCTV market. There is nothing more data-intensive than video, other than multiple streams of HD video. With this in mind, the security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days typically up to 6 months and longer in some regions/applications, the CCTV market consumes more HDDs than many other markets. Growth of data centres While you would think that this would make security an important area for HDD manufacturers, our market is a relatively small player. IT vendors will always focus on their core customers, and the rise of the gaming market, as well as the growth of data centres due to remote working in the pandemic, has created a more important sector to serve – and these customers will always come first. Imagine the daily storage space required if 5 Billion people uploaded just one image a day to ‘the cloud’! Component manufacturers These factors combined with the lack of raw materials leading to longer lead times for component manufacturers mean that the prices for hard drives and GPUs are likely to remain inflated well into 2022 while factories play catch up on the backlog. The market for IT hardware is currently strong enough to continue even with the increase in component prices and the extended lead times for products. If you can get your hands on any HDDs, the delivery times from most distributors are around 6-8 weeks. Increased delivery times All of this has had a serious impact on the security industry. CCTV projects are now facing the combined issue of increased delivery times and higher costs. Many manufacturers, integrators, and distributors are doing their best to absorb the price increases where they can, but this is unsustainable over the long term. So what can be done? Second-hand applications Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market. However, it is unlikely that commercial applications will be willing to risk potential downtime or data losses by using second-hand components that have been pushed hard for months on end mining cryptocurrencies. Making early purchases While I can’t comment on what other manufacturers have done, at Secure Logiq we have been watching this market trend closely. We always try to keep a close eye on anything that has the potential to significantly impact our manufacturing capabilities and try to offset any potential challenges with early purchases before the impact is fully felt. As such, we have been able to secure enough products to continue manufacturing as normal for more than six months. Increased demand as a challenge While we have this existing stock to meet current and anticipated orders, we continue to scour the market for any available stock to make sure we are at the top of the list when any fresh products come on the market. This has meant that throughout our 10-year history we have never failed to deliver a customer order within 7-10 working days. The delays with component manufacture and the ongoing increased demand will continue to present a huge challenge to the CCTV and wider security industry. However, good planning and intelligent design will allow projects to remain on track. Security technology manufacturers are not alone in this challenge, but the dual-threat is perhaps unique. It will take a while for this threat to be overcome, but with robust planning and by paying close attention to the market forward-thinking CCTV manufacturers can still deliver projects for their clients.
Secure Logiq is joining forces with 360 Vision Technology, AMG Systems, Cortech Developments, Harper Chalice and Suprema, to present a free webinar dedicated to Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) security technologies. CNI security technologies webinar The 1-hour session will take place on Wednesday 28th July at 10am BST (05.00 EDT, 09.00 UTC, 11.00 CEST, 13.00 GST 17.00 SGT) and has been created to offer practical support for those responsible for safety and/or security in the utilities, power, prisons and nuclear CNI sectors, including consultants and installers. The security of Critical National Infrastructure has never been more important or more under threat" “The security of Critical National Infrastructure has never been more important or more under threat,” said Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes, adding “By partnering with these like-minded manufacturers who offer complementing solutions in the CNI space we will use this webinar to deliver a complete system overview. Our hope is to provide an informative and entertaining discussion around the subject with expert insights from across the solutions space.” Covering asset protection and risk management Named CNI Security Technologies - Optimising Risk Management and Asset Protection in the CNI sector, the webinar will cover how effective risk management and mitigation, asset protection, regulatory compliance and cost reduction can be achieved, via the use of innovative technologies. Thanks to the combined expertise of the manufacturers involved, a state-of-the-art, end-to-end solution, which is specifically designed for CNI security applications, will be presented to attendees. Cyber secure optical, thermal and radar camera systems Topics being covered will include cyber secure optical, thermal and radar camera systems, effective and innovative perimeter detection (PIDS), secure network backbone design for large infrastructures, flexible biometric access control with multi-factor and differentiating authentication, and optimised server and storage solutions that can provide a modular and scalable core platform for unrivalled interoperability of third-party security systems, via a centralised single platform hub. “Our aim is for this webinar to be an educational experience for professionals in the CNI sector,” concludes Robin Hughes, adding “We want to create an open discussion around cutting edge technology for Critical National Infrastructure rather than just a dry presentation, and with the additional Q&A session, we want to make this as interactive as possible.”
Reliance High-Tech, the globally renowned independent security technology integrator, has formed a new partnership with Secure Logiq. Over the last 10 years, Secure Logiq has become established as the world’s renowned and advanced manufacturer of state-of-the-art high definition (HD) servers that are purpose-built for surveillance-based applications. This announcement means that Reliance High-Tech’s customers will now have access to technology that can process up to three times as many cameras, as some of the most commonly used servers. Secure Logiq – Reliance High-Tech partnership Secure Logiq’s longstanding experience in both the IT and security sectors sits well with Reliance High-Tech’s own background and as such, both companies aim to change the perception of server technology, highlight its fundamental role and make it a key consideration when designing a system. Not only does this benefit the end-user in terms of enhanced functionality, but it also means less time specifying, configuring, installing and commissioning. Working with Secure Logiq means we can add more value and give our customers an unrivalled level of service" “Reliance High-Tech only works with best in class technology providers, so I’m delighted to have formed this partnership with Secure Logiq,” said Tom Clarke, Sales Director at Reliance High-Tech, adding “The worlds of security and IT are closer than ever before and we share the view that only servers that have been specially designed for surveillance purposes can create a system that is fully optimised, energy efficient, reliable and secure. Working with Secure Logiq means we can add more value and give our customers an unrivalled level of service.” Off-the-shelf devices Secure Logiq offers a range of off-the-shelf devices, alongside a custom build service. Its UK-manufactured servers are specifically optimised to efficiently handle multiple streams of HD video data, with a range comprising 1U, 2U, 3U and 4U devices that enable the recording of more channels at a faster rate and the ability to store data for extended periods. For example, the top-of-the-range HPS-4U-XL series offers over one Petabyte of storage, three advanced RAID 6 arrays and dual redundant hotswap power supplies for total peace of mind in mission critical applications. Leveraging Logiqal Healthcheck utility For Reliance High-Tech’s customers uptime is everything and their surveillance technology must be fully operational on a 24/7 basis. Leveraging Secure Logiq’s Logiqal Healthcheck utility, coupled with Reliance’s extensive IT monitoring capability, enables users to avail an unprecedented level of proactive support. In the unlikely event of malfunction, the combination of Secure Logiq’s detailed design configuration and Reliance’s ISO27001 and ISO22301 experience results in fast, effective, secure and robust systems that are proactively monitored. Enhanced IT and information security Reliance High-Tech’s teams have all the information they need to address any issue proactively and securely This means that Reliance High-Tech’s teams have all the information they need to address any issue immediately, proactively, securely and with information security at the heart of every action. “Many installers still specify traditional IT servers that simply do not offer the level of processing, storage density, resilience, throughput and overall performance required by modern surveillance systems,” explained Robin Hughes, Secure Logiq’s Co-Founder. Delivering advanced surveillance services Robin adds, “We provide the missing piece of the HD surveillance jigsaw, with servers that are specifically designed for this purpose. Our dedication to innovation and the highest standards of customer service and support are shared by Reliance High-Tech, and together we will ensure that end-users get the best value and maximum return from their surveillance investment.” Reliance High-Tech’s Tom Clarke concludes, “The marriage of Secure Logiq’s standards of excellence with Reliance High-Tech’s IT capability, service capability and advanced monitoring services delivers a new level of system performance, integrity and pre-emptive maintenance and support, which we are excited to introduce to our customers.”
The crowdfunding initiative allows Secure Logiq to ramp up production facilities In what is a first for the security industry, Secure Logiq recently announced the launch of an innovative crowdfunding initiative that gives installers, partners and consumers the opportunity to own a share of a business that is shaping up to be a huge success story. The crowdfunding initiative, hosted on the popular ShareIn platform, seeks to raise £450,000 to allow Secure Logiq to ramp up production facilities and meet a number of potentially very large orders. The investment sought will also allow Secure Logiq to expand its existing UK based operations and boost sales and marketing activity. Formed in 2011 by Executive Director, Hamish Johnson, and Chief Technology Officer, Aleksander Uzunov, Croydon based Secure Logiq is the world’s leading producer of ultra-high-performance HD surveillance servers and associated technology. Secure Logiq servers provide the fastest performance, the biggest storage, the most resilience and the best value in HD processing and storage technology. Before Secure Logiq, the only options available to installers and end users were traditional IT servers that simply did not offer the level of processing, storage and throughput required by ever more sophisticated surveillance systems. “What we are doing with the crowdfunding initiative is unique”, said Robin Hughes, Sales Director. “Up until now crowdfunding has focused on raising enough money to get products designed or built for consumer audiences. We already have a market-leading product that is generating lots of business interest and, whilst other funding routes are open to us, we strongly believe that everyone should have the chance to share in our success. Equity crowdfunding therefore makes perfect sense.” In the spirit of opening up the opportunity to all the minimum investment has been set low, at only £150, and investors from the industry are being actively encouraged to invest and so share in the great potential for the company’s long-term success. Crowdfunding is a method of funding a project or organisation by pooling the money of individual investors. Many investments made to equity crowdfunding initiatives are covered by the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which provides distinct benefits for investors. These include tax relief of 30% on investments up to £1,000,000. Conditions apply but in some cases this can mean investments are exempt from both Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax. The EIS scheme also helps investors mitigate some of their risk in the event that they must dispose of shares at a loss, by allowing them to offset the loss against income.