Keep an eye on your business.
The larger your corporate infrastructure, the more employees, vendors and customers you have – the more important it is for you to see what goes on at your locations 24/7. Video security from software like Eagle Eye provides the visuals necessary to improve situation awareness, deter vandalism, theft or other crime, accelerate response and management decisions, and increase overall public and staff safety. You need a watchful and comprehensive solution to keep an eye on your personnel, your increasing customer traffic and the substantial number of vehicles entering and exiting multiple facilities in different cities nationwide all day and night.
Brands and vendors aside, one major decision to be made is where your recorded data is going to be stored, how it can be accessed and who has access to it. In today’s connected world, The Cloud has become a viable solution to storing and accessing recorded security video and making it available from a centralized and remote location. There are pros and cons to hosting your data locally and storing it in The Cloud.
1. System Installation
Deploying a traditional system is a long, complex process. The operating system software must be installed and configured, routers and firewalls must be configured, storage servers must be set-up, the cameras themselves must be installed, and the application software that manages your system must be installed and configured.
A cloud-based system has a much easier and simplified on-demand deployment.
The on-premise bridge appliance is plugged in and configured. Then cameras are automatically configured as they are plugged in.
Having a locally hosted solution is a manually intensive process to support and maintain the on-site hardware and software, updating firmware and configuration changes.
Cloud Based DVR/VMS
The process intensive and storage hardware and software are off-site ‘in the cloud’, with only an on-site bridge appliance that connects the cameras to the cloud-based VMS, the ongoing support required is done off-site by your service provider. All updating is completed automatically at the cloud level and pushed to the onsite bridge. There is little to no maintenance involved.
High initial cost. Necessary hardware, software, and installation are very expensive.
Ongoing costs can include: an annual maintenance fee, router configuration changes, system changes, backups, security patches, IT staff time, space, electricity, central management, redundancy, cybersecurity expertise & support, and multi-site integration.
When you factor in all of the costs, ongoing monthly subscription costs of a cloud-based service are lower due to the economies of scale from the shared cloud infrastructure and support.
A traditional DVR, NVR or VMS stores the recorded video on-site.
The amount of recorded video that is stored is limited by hardware capacity you chose when you purchased and installed your system.
Upgrades in camera resolution or a desire to extend the amount of time that you are retaining video will require you to buy additional or replacement hardware and then configure it.
Many advanced cloud systems offer a flexible combination of on-premise and cloud storage. Regardless of where the video is viewed or stored you have the same access to it. Ask your provider, as some systems have the camera talk directly to the cloud, and therefore cannot store video on-premise.
You can instantly increase video resolution or the retention period, without having to purchase new or upgrade existing hardware. Because cloud systems utilize a large shared cloud infrastructure for video storage, they provide tremendous economies of scale and flexibility.
Traditional DVR systems typically support a wide array of varying analog & IP camera choices. Once initial camera wiring is in place, new cameras must be manually connected and configured.
Advanced cloud systems also typically support a broad array of analog & IP camera choices. With the camera wiring complete, cameras are configured automatically. Built-in dashboards show camera status with instant alerts for camera or internet issues.
The only bandwidth required is for remote viewing.
On-site video recording storage requires no Internet bandwidth.
Bandwidth required for remote viewing just like a locally hosted system. On-site video storage buffering requires no bandwidth – but the majority of storage is streamed, requiring potentially large amounts of Internet bandwidth. Some cloud based systems have highly advanced bandwidth management to reduce or control bandwidth consumption.
Traditional systems become outdated and obsolete faster. They start with a set of robust features, but the core feature set is fixed at the time the hardware is created. You can download firmware updates, but you are limited in your opportunity for technology updates. Updates are typically manual & and require support.
APIs are closed and generally require signing an NDA. API functionality is limited.
As with most Cloud technology – evolution is ongoing and rapid. The solution provider sends automatic technology updates through the internet to your on-site bridge appliance. Your system is continuously evolving which equates to longevity.
APIs for analytics, integration, and applications are open and publicly published. Fully functional APIs can be used in other systems.
The need for remote access to videos has resulted in traditional DVRs, NVRs and VMS’s typically being connected to the to the internet by the integrator or installer.
A properly configured firewall becomes a necessary piece of hardware.
It is your responsibility to then monitor for security vulnerabilities such as operating systems, open ports, on-site vendor software.
Cloud Based DVR/VMS
Most advanced cloud-based video surveillance and management systems do not suffer from the same cyber-security vulnerabilities of traditional systems. There are no vulnerable open ports, no on-site firewalls required, and no on-premise software. No firewall installations are required.
Some cloud VMS vendors have dedicated cyber security teams to monitor new vulnerabilities. These teams can instantly apply security patches via the cloud to the on-premise bridge appliance.
With many traditional systems, remote video access was not a priority, but was rather something added on due to customer requests. The quality of video access can be unpredictable, with choppy streaming and poor image quality being the norm.
Additionally, encryption of the video stream is rare, creating privacy concerns. Internet browser incompatibilities are very common.
Cloud-based systems were designed for remote access. Advanced VMS systems typically have smooth video streaming and ease of access by authorized users.
Additionally, some provide encryption while the video is being stored and while it is being streamed remotely. They can also be used by a wide variety of web browsers and mobile apps are common.
Traditional DVRs, NVRs and VMS’s have highly variable redundancy levels from none to adequate. Internal IT support is required to maintain the redundancies. The duplicate servers required for redundancy are often idle, adding to the overall expense.
Cloud data centers where the video is stored often have double and triple redundancy. The shared infrastructure results in full server utilization and economies of scale.
Ready to See More?
As with any project, the secret to success starts with being prepared. For many public and private institutions alike, video surveillance, critical infrastructure, and public safety initiatives have called for the deployment of a variety of video security technologies. If a comprehensive video surveillance solution is not already part of your company’s emergency preparedness plan – it should be.
Choosing the right vendor to partner with for Video Surveillance that knows how to manage and roll out multiple locations in varying types of environments is the first step. Contact Tie National today to get started!
Michael Durante spent his teenage years into his early 20s climbing the ladder in a branch of a successful banking firm, starting as a teller and ending as a Sr. Branch Manager within 6 years. In 2003, he left the banking world to join his father and create TIE National, a telecom company 60 years in the making. Together, they grew the company from a two-man operation solely working on telephones to a multi-million dollar international business with employees in over a dozen states, covering everything from phone systems to cloud products and computer systems. You can find Michael on LinkedIn.