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EXCLUSIVE: Unlocking the future of data storage

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Steve Prodger, Chief Revenue Officer of Arcules describes how modern data storage solutions are redefining global surveillance.

Vital data

In the rapidly evolving digital world we find ourselves in, data has emerged as the bedrock of strategic decisions, innovations and advancements.

It’s no longer just a byproduct of business operations; it’s an invaluable asset that commands paramount importance.

Therefore, the mandate for ironclad security measures to safeguard data is more pressing than ever.

Parallel to this surge in data valuation is the transformative journey of businesses.

They aren’t merely adapting to the times; they’re advancing, innovating and setting benchmarks.

This metamorphosis is driven in large part by the adoption of transformative new technologies.

Among these advancements, the migration toward cloud-based solutions stands out, marking a significant change in the way enterprises manage and secure their digital assets.

Cloud cover

Businesses of all kinds have enthusiastically embraced cloud computing for its various advantages, from streamlined operations to cost savings.

However, when it comes to specific applications like cloud video surveillance and access control, adoption rates have been more measured.

This hesitation can be attributed to prevalent concerns about security breaches, scalability and potential issues surrounding data ownership and control.

Such fears have sometimes overshadowed its potential benefits, but as technology advances and providers prioritize security, compliance and transparent data practices, these apprehensions are beginning to wane.

More enterprises are recognizing the immense potential of cloud-based video and access control, signaling a shift in industry confidence. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.

Video surveillance: more than just capturing moments

While video surveillance does capture moments, its primary role extends to how the captured footage is stored and managed.

For the purposes of security, monitoring and analytics, the storage of video data becomes pivotal, as it ultimately determines the ease of accessibility and dependability of the documented information.

Traditionally, security camera systems leaned heavily on network video recorders (NVRs) or digital video recorders (DVRs) for local data storage.

For years, these devices have been the go-to choice, providing instant access to video footage. Alongside them, video management software (VMS) became increasingly popular.

While VMS provided enhanced control over video surveillance, it frequently proved to be expensive, presented integration challenges with other systems and lacked the flexibility to scale on-demand.

So, despite their prevalence, both these forms of data storage and management come with notable drawbacks.

They pose constraints on scalability, demand frequent maintenance and due to their foundational older technology, carry an intrinsic risk of data loss.

Given the constraints and challenges associated with traditional data storage methods, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of businesses are moving toward cloud-based security solutions.

Instead of relying on localized servers and equipment like NVRs, cloud data storage harnesses the power of the internet and employs the vast resources of remote servers.

This method stores video data offsite, usually overseen by specialized third party providers, negating the necessity for onsite hardware.

Video-surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) captures footage from security cameras, compressing and encrypting the data to ensure stringent protection, which is then dispatched to offsite servers.

As long as there’s internet connectivity, users can access live streams, retrieve archived footage and manage the entirety of the security system, regardless of their geographic location, ensuring an uninterrupted surveillance experience.

However, it’s crucial to understand that not every cloud solution is crafted with the same level of precision or offers the same benefits.

Diving into the world of cloud-based video surveillance without careful consideration, for example, can be a risky venture.

It’s imperative for businesses to closely evaluate both cloud and traditional onsite data storage systems to find what works best for their specific needs.

  • Scalability – the flexibility of cloud data storage is a significant benefit over on-premise systems. It easily adapts and grows with the needs of a business, allowing for straight-forward, on-demand expansion. Traditional onsite systems can require a hefty investment when looking to scale up
  • Cost factors – typically, cloud solutions operate on a subscription basis, which often means reduced upfront costs. Onsite data storage might come with sizable initial costs
  • Maintenance dynamics – cloud storage has the added benefit of having most of the maintenance being overseen by the service provider. In contrast, onsite systems often necessitate frequent and hands-on maintenance routines
  • Data security measures – most cloud data storage providers prioritize robust cybersecurity measures to protect data. With onsite storage, even though there’s a heightened sense of control, the responsibility for data protection predominantly rests on the organization’s shoulders
  • Data redundancy – an added advantage of cloud data storage is its inherent ability to replicate data across diverse servers, ensuring data resilience. Onsite systems, in comparison, place the responsibility on businesses to devise and implement backup protocols
  • Reliability – many cloud solution providers pride themselves on delivering consistent and reliable uptime, ensuring data is accessible whenever needed. Traditional onsite configurations may occasionally experience disruptions
  • Data ownership and control – when using cloud data storage, there’s trust placed in a third-party provider to safeguard data. Onsite solutions offer businesses complete control and ownership of their data
  • Regulatory and compliance considerations – it’s essential to note that many cloud providers use data centers distributed worldwide, which might have implications for compliance with local regulations. Inherently, onsite data storage ensures data remains confined to a company’s premises, offering a sense of localized control

Having weighed the pros and cons of both cloud and onsite data storage solutions, you’re on the path to making an informed decision.

However, as with any significant business move, there’s more to consider than just the surface details.

Understanding your unique requirements

It’s crucial to take a deep dive into your organization’s specific needs.

Consider practical elements such as the scale of your surveillance system, the number of cameras and the volume of data that requires storage.

Reflect on what’s paramount for your business — is it the ability to scale easily, the convenience of remote access or perhaps the cost implications?

Aligning with industry-specific needs

Different industries have unique security priorities.

For instance, where a retail business may primarily emphasize deterring theft, a healthcare facility’s primary concern could be ensuring the safety and well-being of its patients.

Therefore, it’s crucial to customize your data storage solution to cater to the specific challenges and demands of your sector.

Making the final choice

The ultimate decision between cloud and onsite data storage isn’t just about the technology; it’s about aligning that technology with your organization’s broader goals.

Think about your budget, the importance of scalability in your operations, the security measures that suit your risk profile and how hands-on you’re prepared to be in terms of system management.

By evaluating all these factors, you’ll be poised to make a decision that not only meets your current needs but also positions you well for the future.

As we continue to live within this technological evolution, the rise of cloud-based solutions stands out prominently.

The ubiquitous reach of the cloud signifies not just a trend, but a monumental shift in how businesses perceive and manage their data.

As the barriers that once surrounded VSaaS and access control as a service (ACaaS) begin to crumble, a new horizon of opportunities emerges.

The benefits of transitioning to cloud-based systems are many and they are making their mark in arenas where security is critical.

It’s a testament to the cloud’s capabilities that it isn’t merely an option for small to medium businesses, but for enterprises of all sizes.

The myth that the cloud compromises on data security has been debunked — in fact, the cloud offers superior security protocols, ensuring that data remains both accessible and protected.

All of these facets underscore that the future of efficient, scalable and secure business operations is very much in the cloud.

This article was originally published in the November edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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