VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

Building Edge-Based Video Surveillance Solutions at the Intersection of IT and Security

June 7, 2023By Craig Yonge

Since jumping onto connected networks, video surveillance has become a readily available, universally managed technology. However, in more recent years, video surveillance technology has undergone a new transformation creating opportunities for IT and security practitioners alike.  

As a once-siloed piece of the tech stack, network video is now an integral part of the larger technology and infrastructure strategy organizations employ today. But developing a video surveillance strategy that aligns with an organization’s greater technology goals isn’t as easy as adding an extra camera to a system or removing a user’s network access. As more technologies make the jump to the network, organizations need technology that simplifies the management of these historically independent technologies while also considering bandwidth usage, storage requirements, and other resource expenditures.  

Multiple needs. Hyperconverged deployment.  

Hyperconverged infrastructure seems to be the new buzz word in the IT world, but it’s a simple idea that can have incredible impact. Hyperconverged infrastructure, or HCI, speaks to the recent trend of organizations migrating towards consolidated management of systems to improve interoperability among separate technologies. These hyperconverged solutions ultimately bring together historically independent systems into a single platform to process, manage, and move information more freely between these systems. Network cameras and video analytic applications functioning within a security capacity can now speak to point-of-sale systems such as cash registers and barcode readers to improve business intelligence and operations.  

Taking this HCI methodology one step further, users can move this hyperconverged system away from centralized data centers and closer to the end point, or at the edge, to gain smoother integration with faster data processing and management potential. Organizations can utilize this hyperconverged methodology at the edge to address the often complicated integration and management of software and hardware devices. By bringing the key elements of IT—networking, compute, management, and storage—together at the edge, users can reduce investments in overhead such as cooling supplies or additional storage banks, while increasing processing speeds and overall performance. This hyperconverged approach located at the edge allows the organization to process information and make critical business decisions more efficiently and effectively benefitting each element at the IT system.  

Networking 

Network infrastructure encompasses the complete set of resources within a network that enable connectivity, management, business operations, and communication within a local network or over the Internet. It encompasses a combination of hardware and software that facilitate communication among users, services, applications, and processes. Every component involved in the network, including servers and wireless routers, collaborates to form the network infrastructure of a system. By providing a foundation, network infrastructure facilitates efficient communication and service delivery among users, applications, services, devices, and other network entities that make the entire system interoperate. It’s this interconnectedness that facilitates all edge workloads. Without the foundation provided by the network, devices at the edge would be siloed and rendered ineffective.  

Compute 

Within the computing realm, the term “compute” pertains to various concepts and objects associated with software processing. It serves as a broad reference encompassing processing power, memory, networking capabilities, storage, and other resources essential for the effective execution of any solution. 

To illustrate, applications that involve HD video, video analytics, or render 3D graphics demand substantial amounts of RAM and multiple CPUs to process and function optimally. In these scenarios, the CPUs, RAM, and Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) needed are collectively referred to as compute resources, while the applications themselves are categorized as compute-intensive applications. When placed at the edge, compute resources can be allocated when and where they are needed reducing wasted resources and improving processing speeds and bandwidth usage. The flexibility of edge computing gives organizations greater freedom in how they deploy their surveillance solutions and other technologies by managing the compute function at the edge offering true flexibility for custom solutions.  

Management 

Management involves overseeing both technical and operational components, including hardware, software, policies, processes, data, facilities, and equipment, to ensure optimal business operation. Management achieves various objectives such as minimizing redundant efforts, complying with IT standards and regulations, enhancing information flow, adapting to changing business markets, promoting IT interoperability, facilitating effective change management, and reducing overall IT costs. 

By aligning the management of the surveillance solution with larger business objectives, the IT stack, including surveillance, can generate value for the entire organization further improving functionality and reducing resource consumption. Instead of dedicating IT resources individually to each computing technology or line of business, IT infrastructure management consolidates the delivery of servers, applications, storage, networking, security, and IT facilities. This integrated and automated management approach improves efficiency and agility of surveillance systems and beyond ultimately impacting the profitability of the business. 

IT infrastructure management tools play a vital role in enhancing change management and safeguarding the interdependencies within hyperconverged IT environments. These tools aid in streamlining and protecting the interconnected components, ensuring efficient operations in complex IT installations. 

Storage 

Storage is a necessary piece of any solution, but storage hardware (and resources needed to support it) can be expensive and complicated whether managed centrally or locally at the edge. Hybrid cloud storage brings the best of both worlds allowing for edge-based management of video data stored in the cloud. When video is stored in the cloud and processed at the edge, data is recalled easily and instantly. By extending storage from on-prem hardware to the cloud, allows users to optimize existing solutions without any additional storage hardware or system downtime. Users can instantly access endless amounts of stored video without the constraints of on-prem storage capacity. All data remains instantly accessible directly within the video management software as if stored locally with endless accessibility. 

 

Maximizing impact, reducing resources 

Edge-based video surveillance solutions create unique opportunities for organizations to maximize performance of in-house and serviced IT infrastructure. And moving video surveillance to the edge as part a larger IT strategy can bring short-term and long-term benefits to an organization. 

Simplified deployment  

Edge-based surveillance significantly reduces the need for extensive cabling and infrastructure requirements. Traditional video surveillance systems often involve complex wiring, network configurations, and storage devices that require significant time and effort to install, manage, and maintain. With HCI placed at the edge, the solution is equipped with rapid processing speeds and easily connects to the cloud. This reduces the complexity of installation making it easier and faster to deploy surveillance systems with few or no onsite IT personnel. Additionally, installing smaller or multi-site systems in more remote locations is made easier with on-premises edge computing supported by hybrid cloud storage.  

Increased performance 

By bringing complex infrastructures away from centralized data centers to be processed at the edge, mixed technologies can work better together, faster and more efficiently. Hospitals, for example, can integrate access control systems with video surveillance systems to record, regulate, and document visitors to specific areas of the hospital. Video data and access control data is instantly processed and accessible for actionable insights. Manufacturers can investigate shipping or operational anomalies with automated packaging systems backed by video surveillance evidence. In these scenarios and many others, edge-based video surveillance offers faster processing of and integration with these mixed technology stacks, and the business potential for technologies to sync and respond to each other is endless. 

Flexibility with scalability  

Edge-based surveillance systems offer the flexibility to address the needs of both larger installations as well as multiple smaller installations in remote locations. Users can easily deploy system components at existing or new locations even when there is limited or no connectivity. When video data is processed at the edge, the system is not limited to connectivity to a centralized data center allowing users to adapt more quickly to business needs. As those needs change, additions to the surveillance system is easy when everything is located at the edge. Furthermore, hybrid cloud storage with support at the edge allows for users to adjust and scale their storage needs without adding additional hardware.  

Best in breed technology for best of breed performance 

Scale Computing, leaders in HCI and edge computing, and Wasabi Technologies, experts in hybrid hot cloud storage, offer a unique solution that simplifies the process of migrating a hyperconverged model to the edge with powerful software and simple hardware. 

Scale Computing and Wasabi Technologies combine industry-leading, on-premises infrastructure with easy-to-use, hot cloud storage to create an agile hybrid cloud environment that organizations can rely on. Scale Computing Platform brings a powerful software management platform creating the virtual platform to converge surveillance and other IT systems. Wasabi Surveillance Cloud simplifies video surveillance storage needs by combining hot cloud storage space with cloud bridge software. When integrated with over 25+ video management software providers, Wasabi Technologies and Scale Computing drive video surveillance to become a part of complete IT strategy with systems and technologies that engage and react to each other.  

Conclusion 

IT strategies built with hyperconverged infrastructures offer many benefits. When that hyperconverged infrastructure migrates to the edge, users can deploy faster, process data quicker, and further improve interoperability and performance. By bringing video into this hyperconverged, edge-based environment, surveillance becomes just another technology available at the edge – simple to deploy, manage, and store.  

Built with open architecture, the Scale Computing and Wasabi solution creates the building blocks for integrated, edge-based surveillance infrastructure making future additions and changes simpler than ever. Users gain enhanced interoperability with existing technology and the open platform to integrate with new technologies creating the important intersection of IT and security.  

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