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What are guidelines for cloud-based video surveillance storage?

Cloud-based video surveillance storage can help organizations with compliance and retention. Be mindful, though, as high storage volume can quickly make costs soar.

Organizations store a great deal of video surveillance data in the cloud. The cloud provides nearly unlimited storage capacity and moves the recorded footage off premises.

Despite the many benefits of cloud-based video surveillance storage, there is at least one major disadvantage: cost. Organizations can spend a small fortune storing video data in the cloud. To improve the storage process, apply these four best practices: data management, resolution and formatting control, comparison shopping and maximizing the use of surveillance footage.

Data lifecycle matters

First, figure out how long the organization needs to keep the recorded videos. Longer retention periods translate into a higher volume of data stored and, thus, higher cost.

Retention periods depend on internal security requirements, the storage budget for surveillance footage and legal requirements. In some cases, data retention laws govern the length of time to save recordings. An automated data lifecycle management engine can automatically purge outdated video footage to prevent storage growth from forgotten files.

Regardless of the data retention policy, find a way to hold on to a recording indefinitely, should the need arise.

Choose the video format and resolution

Some video formats provide superior clarity but result in a far greater volume of stored data than other options. For example, a two-hour video in a RAW format at 655 GB reduces to a mere 8.4 GB saved in MP4 format. The video format and resolution can greatly affect the volume of storage and, therefore, costs.

Consider how the organization might use the video in the future. If it's only for casual observation, then a relatively low resolution might work. If, however, viewers need to zoom in on a license plate or use facial recognition to identify a criminal, a higher resolution is necessary.

Consider provider options

Providers vary widely in terms of cost, especially for the potentially massive job of cloud-based video surveillance storage. Compare the costs of multiple providers.

Base cost estimates around storage tiers that perform well enough to accommodate the constant stream of inbound video data.

Look for alternative use cases

Finally, consider whether the surveillance video might be useful for more than just security. For example, retailers use surveillance video to assess traffic patterns within the store and figure out where to place products based on customer activity.

Plausible alternate uses may mean another department could subsidize a portion of the cloud-based storage costs.

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