Storage For Surveillance


I have written on occasion about digital storage for professional media and entertainment.  Of course, a big part of storage in M&E is for video assets.  An industry that also cares a lot about storing video content is the growing video surveillance market.  Surveillance video cameras with increasing resolution are appearing in many public places, often in response to fears of terrorist activities.

As an example of this trend, Wikipedia says that the number of surveillance cameras in Greater London is about 500,000 and the total number of cameras in the UK is about 4,200,00.  By this estimate there is one camera for every 14 people.  Some market reports project over 8% annual growth in video storage to meet WW video surveillance needs.  This is a multi-billion-dollar market today, and it shows every sign of continuing to increase as the number of cameras increases.  AI algorithms are playing a big part in coordinating video and other sensor information from many sources in order to intelligently use the captured content for real-time threat assessment.

As this market becomes a distinct segment for the digital storage industry, storage device and system companies are beginning to track the number of products that they ship into this market.  They are also offering products that are targeted at video surveillance markets.  Let’s look at recently announced video surveillance storage products from Seagate and Micron.

Seagate Technology announced its SkyHawk AI hard disk drive (HDD).  The company says that this is the first drive created specifically for artificial intelligence (AI) enabled video surveillance solutions.  Seagate said that it has delivered surveillance optimized storage products for the last 10 years.  SkyHawk AI is said to provide unprecedented bandwidth and processing power to manage always-on, data-intensive workloads, while simultaneously analyzing and recording footage from multiple HD cameras.

From Seagate Product Announcement

The product comes in 8 and 10 TB capacities.  It has 6 G SATA interfaces with 7,200 RPM HDDs at 867 Gbpsi areal density.  The product specifications are slightly better on performance than the regular SkyHawk but the SkyHawk AI specified workload and mean-hours-before-failure (MTBF) are significantly higher than the regular SkyHawk HDD at 550 TB/year data throughput and 2 million hours MTBF (versus 180 TB per year and 1 million hour MTBF.

Seagate goes on to say that, 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.

While Seagate’s SkyHawk AI product is targeted at high capacity video surveillance storage, Micron announced industrial micro-SD cards designed for video surveillance edge storage. In particular, Micron announced a full portfolio of edge storage solutions for video surveillance that will enable new deployment models and reduce total cost of ownership for both commercial and enterprise use cases. The new industrial-grade microSD products will be available in capacities up to 256 GB in 2018 (while 32 and 64 GB products are available today) and will leverage Micron’s 3D NAND technology, providing up to 256GB of ultra-high-density storage.


Source: Storage For Surveillance