Video Archiving

Video Archiving

With the growing number of security surveillance cameras and increase in the image quality, there has been a steep rise in the retention requirements. As the amount of digital video data increases, the need for a reliable and highly available long-term storage solution becomes crucial. At this juncture, organizations are facing critical data management and archiving strategy challenges. As a result, every organization has a burning question which is “What do I do with the surveillance data buildup”.

Going with certain facts, in United States alone, there are almost 31 million surveillance cameras which are monitoring 4.3 billion hours of video footage a week. As surveillance cameras are meant to observe diverse activity and monitor behavior, they have become an effective medium to stop crime. Regardless of the intent, every enterprise is having a purpose for deploying a surveillance camera & related system and so a specific method for storing, retrieving and managing the video content needs to show its effect.

In order to improve data retention time and install smart practices, an intelligent archiving is important. Organizations cannot simply purge their video surveillance records and later on suffer the consequences if the data is tampered, lost or destroyed. As per law, a victim of any incident which took place in a given store has a period of 180 days to file a claim. But if the store owner has no record of video evidence, the store owner can be at risk of being potentially exposed to a claim, as he/she could not produce video evidence in defense to get rid of the claim.

Beyond the retail sector, they are also many diverse businesses and enterprises, such as governments, banks, education institutions and corporate offices, which need to have a secure surveillance system along with its video archive, related to certain period. Here there will be two types of video archives, which include a large percentage of non- critical data, which needs to be stored for a small period and a good percentage of critical data which needs to be retained on long term basis. Furthermore, there are certain stipulations for surveillance footage to be saved in standard, original format and must be retrievable without any manipulation.

Historically, video tapes used to serve this purpose, but where hard to maintain and were delivering the desired work functions only when they were stored in a climate controlled environment. But still the logging, researching and finding the tape to load it into a Video Tape recorder was troublesome and time consuming. Apart from these problems, there was a risk that, as time passed out; there were chances of magnetic oxide flaking off or any foreign material sticking to the tape, which made the running of it, inefficient. Moreover, most of the video tapes, which were archived, were in the shelf, unless there was a major usage of them on a network.

But now, in the present world, everything has changed as digitalization has revolutionized the technology of video surveillance in such a way that, there is a vast improvement in the field of video storage. With the digital media, the video archives will be available on a 24/7 basis and that too at a click of a mouse. The video archiving system will be offering scalability function, if the organization needs more storage capacity. As new & innovative technologies are providing innovative ways to store and retrieve digital assets, the hard disk based video archiving is picking up its pace.

Difference between archiving and backup

Generally, people who are new to the video storage technology have an opinion that Archiving and data backup are literally the same on a parallel note. But here are the lines, which clearly differentiate the terms archiving and backup.

Video Backup is making a duplicate copy as stand by, if in case the original is corrupted and lost due to a catastrophe. In the situation, where the data is constantly changing, taking a backup of data in regular intervals is the only solution.

Video archiving is a bit identical to backup, but has a difference theoretically and practically. A video archive is the storage of a video in its final form and it cannot be changed again, once saved. The video copy is directed to be saved for a certain period and the original can be erased from the storage media, in order to save storage space and to allow other video data to be replaced.

Video Archiving on Tape, Disk or Blu Ray

In this digital age, there are more options for archiving of storage videos than ever before. Tape archiving was the standard for archiving the videos and presently, a tape can hold approximately 2TB of compressed data, which equates to less than 8 cents per gigabyte. Nowadays, the development in the manufacturing of tapes is such that, the sellers of data tapes are giving a warranty of 30 years. But still, there is copious amount of risk involved in having a tape archive, as the mismanagement or improper usage and storage of a tape archive, can result in data loss due to tape damage. However, since the tape based archive is inexpensive, it is still considered the most mature and affordable technology, used on a global note.

In today’s world, the read and write of optical disks is being done on Blu-Ray disks. Although, the storage costs of a Blu-Ray disks for video archiving is approximately $1.67 per gigabyte, the cost of overhead of starting and maintaining an optical disk is much lower as there are Blu-ray burners assisting for video archiving less amounts of data and for greater volumes the availability of juke-boxes makes the work simple as it can store videos up to 300TB volumes on just a 50GB Blu-Ray discs.

Traditionally, most of the videos are being archived on hard disks, which are RAID certified. The cost of using hard disk drives is coming to 67cents- $1 per gigabyte and they are easy to use and maintain. It is a fact that, dDisk based systems need to be backed up to data tapes which includes archived and active data. When the archived and active data is transferred to tapes, there will be an increase in the number of data tapes and will also carry an additional burden of transferring and cost. But in true archive system, only the active data is backed onto the tapes, while the archived video data is still on the archiving media.

In the best possible situation, the permanent data will be archived and then erased from the active data storage medium. All active data would be backed up frequently, which facilitates several layers of recovered copies. Since storage systems will never fail at a time, so the data loss can never be observed.

Need for Intelligent Archiving

In order to meet retention requirements, organizations indulge in traditional storage methods, as said above. However, these methods have proven as outdated, costly and unreliable and so the need for the intelligent archiving has risen. Intelligent archiving is an all inclusive approach which integrates with the present surveillance workflow and offers a streamlined, automated data management tool.

With an intelligent archiving the data is stored in its intended format in an automated format and with guaranteed authenticity. The data will be easily accessible and retrievable and will be indelibly labeled for professional distribution. It will be selectable by camera in order to discern between active and inactive data. Not only does this approach ensure that an organization’s video storage plan is secure and smart for now, but it will ensure that it is robust for future as well.


Surveillance data is critical and an enterprise cannot afford to lose it, as it offers video evidence to avoid claims, theft or vandalism. It is wise if the video content is managed in a central way, which will ensure safety, long term storage, easy accessibility and random future playback along with the flexibility of providing seamless organization. Intelligent Video Archiving will assure to solve all the critical content distribution, management and long term archiving needs. Not only is the approach of intelligent archiving designed to provide an automatic video archiving tool, which protects critical information. But it is a smart exporting resource which offers users an ultimate control over surveillance data management.

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