Storing video surveillance: A burgeoning market?

* Watching the video surveillance storage market

When start-up Pivot3 announced its system for storing video surveillance data recently, I frankly dismissed it. Storing data from video surveillance systems was too much of a niche market, I thought. That is until last week when I visited Las Vegas for HP’s Technology Summit and its Americas StorageWorks conference.

Here in the capital of video surveillance, where your every move is watched by the ‘eye in the sky,’ I realized that the market for storing video captured by corporate surveillance cameras was huge.

Nearly every company – barring the casinos in Las Vegas – has video surveillance gear. If you believe the TV show ‘Las Vegas’ with James Caan or any cop show, the data captured by those video cameras is stored on tape. (Remember when so-and-so cop asks for the videotapes for the time when the robbery occurred.) When you use an ATM, you can be sure your mug is captured on the bank’s cameras. Tape is a clumsy media and it is slow retrieving data from it. Enter Pivot3, which has a storage system that uses inexpensive Serial ATA drives. A Pivot3 system consists of one or more network connected hardware nodes called Databanks. Each Databank is an industry-standard server with 12 Serial ATA disk drives. Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports connect the cluster.

Each Databank consists of 6TB to 9TB of storage capacity. At least three Databanks must be included in the cluster for failover protection. A management GUI called the RAIGE Director runs on a Windows Server or workstation.

Pivot3’s implementation is not entering a new market. Nexsan, Network Appliance, Cisco and InforTrend are already there. They’ve realized, like me, that this is a big opportunity.

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