Video Surveillance: A Tale of Two Markets

As a longtime video surveillance industry observer, I remember when it was fully reliant on analog technology to secure people, places and things. However, it seems the industry is still reliant on similar solutions, whether they are analog cameras capturing video that’s digitized and stored on reused tape, or security personnel who act as both preventative and post-event resources. It became clear to me that the market was bifurcating into two types of deployments: large, fully-IP installations that are fully IT-led, and analog-prone, fragmented, traditional eyeballs-to-screens installations.

IP surveillance is often thought of in terms of image quality, megapixels and other visually related terms, yet the IT-led side of the market has centered itself more on workloads, specifically a combination of video content and analytics that are woven into a broader physical security initiative. These deployments aim to be far more preventative than forensic. IT-led, multi-dimensional installations like these tend to be physically large and extend across several facilities across long distances. This requires both fixed and mobile surveillance cameras and other sensors connected to local edge storage sources that communicate with a core system: cities, transportation, government facilities, and large public complexes. The resultant workloads are collated into a large data set that undergoes extensive analytics processes at a centralized command facility. This workflow is modeled on an enterprise datacenter rather than a security room.

In many ways, workloads and analytics now define physical security more than cops and cameras.

Thus, IT storage leader EMC’s announcements at ASIS 2014 are timely in addressing market growing pains. For instance, to complement its enterprise-class core EMC Isilon storage platform, EMC is now offering EMC VNX-VSS100 (built on proven VNX technology), a purpose-built storage system that can act in an edge capacity with EMC Isilon, or serve as a cost-effective, scalable hub for smaller network-based security installations. The company is offering lab-level validation for Video Management Software (VMS) Providers  partners like Genetec, Verint, and Milestone, which will allow system integrators to deploy solutions more quickly. EMC is also creating greater partner enablement through training resource sponsorship and partner investment in high-growth countries.

IDC’s Digital Universe Project forecasts that video surveillance workloads will grow an average of 22% by 2020. And while system integrators have been successful partnering with a wide range of surveillance hardware, VMS, storage and analytics vendors, what’s been lacking is a strong, experienced third-party IT leader like EMC that can create a foundation for surveillance-specific vendors and integrators to work and partner with – while keeping pace with surveillance trends.

About the Author: Christopher Chute