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5G and Data Storage

5G and Data Storage

David Friend
By David Friend
President, CEO & Co-founder

May 16, 2019

Legacy to Cloud – Wired and Wireless

When enterprises think of internet connectivity, some still think of the old standbys of T-1s and T-3s, and we find many customers who haven’t touched their Internet connections in years, and are significantly behind.

Others have run with fiber connectivity, and opened up an entirely new world. Fiber has significantly changed IT life, and powered everything about how cloud providers and businesses can connect at speeds that just 10 years ago would’ve been unaffordable for all but a handful of companies.

Legacy wireless (3G, 4G) meant more freedom for road warriors, but wireless connectivity for enterprises was largely limited to smartphones and mobile wifi hotspots.

What Matters About 5G?

As fast as 4G seems to be compared to 3G, 4G is more like using a data straw to connect to the Internet compared to the firehose of 5G.

With restricted bandwidth and a relatively high latency, 4G is currently an obstacle to any use cases where it’s not simply about getting data EVENTUALLY to where you need it to be, but in being able to essentially stream data in REALTIME from point to point.

The theoretical performance improvements of 5G suggest possible network latency of one millisecond, at speeds from 1Gbs to 10Gbps. If you aren’t a networking geek, that’s a 10-100x improvement over 4G and LTE (4.5G).

And what does that unlock?

5G Storage Use Cases

The most popular use cases to talk about for 5G are topics like IoT and AI and machine learning initiatives, and those are exciting areas to be sure although it’s early days for mainstream adoption.

So let’s step back to an increasingly common storage use case – surveillance cameras.

Surveillance footage is only as valuable as it is usable, which requires:

  1. Better resolution in order to be able to recognize enough detail to be useful
  2. Better connectivity to get it to where it needs to be for human or machine evaluation
  3. Scalable and low cost storage to keep it for both immediate analysis, and for long-term archives


This is not common knowledge, but today, the vast majority of surveillance cameras in large implementations are not connected to wired networks, which is quite different from most “enterprise uses” of data capture devices. Instead, these cameras take advantage of 4G LTE, particularly in city-wide implementations where cabling would be nearly impossible both logistically and financially.

5G will provide significantly more capacity to stream video back across the network to a central repository and dashboard, support significantly more cameras at higher resolution, and enabling new levels of intelligence as more feeds can be combined and analyzed for a truly big picture view.


The resulting Big Video explosion will drive even more IT spending towards cloud storage as the most cost-effective solution for storing large amounts of data.

By choosing a low-cost yet high performance cloud storage provider like Wasabi, the need to continuously upgrade your own storage and actively work to attempt to build available storage before you run out, or to archive it offsite for affordability, disappears.

All of the unpredictable costs of egress charges from the big 3 also disappear (Wasabi doesn’t charge for egress). The odds that you will access video footage is much higher (and in larger volumes) than most data archives, which makes first generation cloud providers like AWS an expensive solution for this use case — the egress charges alone would burn your budget faster than your data arrived.

All Cloud Combination

By using 5G for connectivity, and Wasabi for cloud storage, organizations that run surveillance systems avoid the cost and complexity of operating their own network, their own storage, and if trends in body cameras extend into mounted surveillance, they won’t have to own the cameras either – they would be provided by their surveillance equipment vendor as a subscription.

All of which begs the question – maybe you don’t HAVE to have a 5G strategy just yet, but is your storage strategy up to what is already required of your business?

Are you ready to scale to what’s coming?

If you’re looking for storage experts, you’ve come to the right place. For most companies, it’s time to get out of owning and operating storage, but storage is our sweet spot. Talk to us to see what your options are for any use case, we’d love to hear from you.

the bucket
David Friend
By David Friend
President, CEO & Co-founder