Security Technology Executive

SEP-OCT 2017

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www. • September/October 2017 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 23 Traditional ways of managing surveillance video and evidence data won't work in this increasingly digital age. The police department, like many agencies in the public sector as well as enterprises, is caught in what I call the "video vortex," a proliferation of new devices that are generating massive amounts of higher quality digital data that is overwhelming the traditional ways that these organizations have stored and managed their data. The challenge is acute for many in the commercial and public sector arenas, which must find new, cost-effective ways to address the oncoming wave of video data. For public safety agencies, they also must manage retention policies for this evidence data, which in many cases can require that such evidence is preserved for 10 years or more. Traditional ways of managing surveillance video and evidence data won't work in this increasingly digital age. Simply moving from closed circuit TVs to IP video has put a strain on the closed systems or appliances that typically have stored surveillance video. If an agency transitioned its 100 cameras from standard definition to 4K, the bandwidth, stor- age and compute requirements would multiply by 12X. Layer in the video from myriad new sources and the demand for more processing power and network and storage capacity grows significantly. The momentum behind the video vortex will only accelerate. The surveillance market is growing almost three times faster than the broader IT mar- ket, and according to a recent survey by MeriTalk, 99 percent of federal IT and security decision makers say video surveillance technology will improve their agencies' ability to fight crime, theft, and terrorism over the next five years. These agencies are using video data to drive greater insights into such things as suspicious behavior, object recognition, traffic monitoring , incident reporting and face matching. By 2020, video surveillance is predicted to grow to about 3.3 trillion captured video hours worldwide. At the same time, the requirements around evi- dence data also are evolving , and cities now must consider the best technologies for supporting the retention policies for this data. The type of crime dictates how long the evidence needs to be stored and accessible. In some federal crimes, police departments are required to keep the evidence for- ever, while a domestic violence case may require a retention period of five years and a misdemeanor, 30 days. Value of an Open Architecture Simply putting the data into black boxes just doesn't work anymore. What used to take one black box before 4K video now will take 12, and managing all those boxes – at a larger enterprise takes hundreds of boxes. This just isn't cost-effective, scalable, reliable or secure enough. It's also difficult to analyze the data when it's locked away in a box. While almost all federal IT leaders in the MeriTalk survey said surveillance video technology is key to their future efforts, 54 percent of the video data now goes unana- lyzed. The industry has largely embraced Internet protocol (IP) surveillance – about 76 percent of fed- eral surveillance cameras are now IP – making it the standard where once it had been the exception. However, for many agencies, the deployment often still has the look of a closed system, with video man- agement applications tied to the appliances they're packaged with, which forces customers to upgrade the hardware and software in tandem and locks the value of the data in a single box. That needs to change. The number of devices will only grow, and the amount of data generated by those devices will increase rapidly. A key theme we're seeing in the surveillance space is that sur- veillance data is becoming an enterprise applica- tion, and organizations need to start treating it and deploying it like you would any data center-class operation. A law enforcement agency in a major U.S. city is facing this challenge right now. If we were to design the system the way they would have done it in the past, the department would need 700 servers with 150TB of capacity each, a man- agement nightmare. Another option is five servers with 50PB of capacity behind them, a much more manageable number. Public sector agencies and enterprises are looking for an architecture that will enable them to unlock the value of all this surveillance data they 're accu- mulating. They 're moving away from appliances that contain the necessary compute, storage and software and moving toward a more open, data center-class IT infrastructure. So what does that look like? Such an infrastructure needs applica- tion virtualization technology, enterprise network infrastructure for the campus and software-defined networking (SDN) for the core.

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