State and local governments have been among the leading proponents of video surveillance technology, which is used to detect and prevent crime, and support public safety operations in many public areas, including city streets and centers, transportation hubs, and utilities.

While it is unclear how many surveillance cameras are in operation across the United States today. HIS Markit suggests the number in 2012 was in the order of 33 million devices, which increased to 62 million in 2016. In revenue terms, the global figures are also rapidly increasing, from just under $20 billion in 2015, to an estimated $63 billion by 2022 (Stratistics MRC).

In many cases, IP-based security video cameras run 24×7, and video analytics software is increasingly being used for its efficiency and automation, allowing organizations to rely more heavily on computers to identify specific incidents or pattern changes that could be of interest or concern (such as left packages, erratic vehicles, motion detection, etc.). With the continuing advancements in camera design and technology, as well as with analytics and video management software, video is continuing to be a powerful tool to provide state and local governments with critical evidence relating to public perimeter, asset protection, and more.

In addition, higher resolution and higher frame-rate cameras are being deployed. The average IP-based camera now offers two Megapixel resolution, with a significant growth in 4- and 8- Megapixel IP-cameras as well. A city-wide video surveillance deployment may have hundreds or thousands of high resolution cameras, streaming video all day, creating terabyte or petabyte data volumes to be stored, managed and curated.

Another emerging area for video surveillance content is the “facial biometrics” market, which is expected to grow from $136.9 million in 2018, to $375 million by 2025, according to Grand View Research Facial biometrics are used with facial recognition systems to map facial features from a photograph or video. It helps to verify identity by comparing the information with a database of known faces. Some security systems employ facial recognition and captures images of people that regularly visit a building, which are utilized to alert the system or security person if that person is not recognized.

Recent news reports from Forbes and The Hill indicate that U.S. cities are considering banning the use of facial recognition software after doubts surfaced on the precision and accuracy of the technology. To date, three cities (San Francisco, Oakland, and Somerville, Mass.) have banned the use of facial recognition. Other cities, particularly in California, have draft legislation in process. In contrast, many other police forces and government organizations across the U.S. believe the technology is of massive benefit to help prevent crime. Reportedly, the New York Police Department used facial recognition in 2,900 cases over five years.

Data volumes rise, retention periods expand, and technology will continue to evolve

While the debate regarding the use of facial recognition technology will continue to evolve, state and local governments will need to contend with the challenges presented by video surveillance technology. These include rising data volumes, compounded by the fact that many cities plan to double their number of cameras used over the next five years as technology and infrastructure becomes more cost-effective. Further, in many cases, data retention periods have extended due to litigation risk, increased security concerns, and enhanced security strategies. These retention periods can range from weeks to months and possibly years, and can change over time.

All of this equates to the need for a modern file storage solution that can easily grow capacity and performance, and adapt to ongoing technology innovations without adding more management overhead.

Qumulo offers an enterprise-proven file storage solution that meets today’s video surveillance requirements. With numerous deployments within the state and local government market, Qumulo’s NAS file storage provides a simple way to connect to these IP-based video surveillance workflows. By utilizing Qumulo’s simple, modular node architecture that scales across on-prem and cloud environments, managing growth is simple; organizations can add both capacity and performance whenever needed, with no disruption or downtime.

Qumulo builds in superior efficiencies, data protection, and analytics into its file storage; allowing organizations to employ cost-effective industry-standard hardware, as well as enabling the use of 100 percent of the storage provided without performance degradation, as seen in more traditional disk storage, where capacity has to be reserved. Valuable video assets are protected using built-in erasure coding, which is superior to RAID, as it works at the block level rather than drive level. Modern system and data analytics allow administrators to see performance and capacity spikes, with detail down to the individual camera, to deliver real-time insights and visibility.

State and local government video surveillance infrastructures need to reliably support the streaming of high-definition videos from hundreds or thousands of devices, as well as from emerging sources such as facial biometric data. Qumulo’s file storage system is purpose-built for demanding, data-intensive video workloads of any size. Its powerful Flash-first technology can manage small and large files for 4K and 8K workloads, ensuring fast and smooth playback.

Qumulo also integrates seamlessly with leading video management software solutions used by many state and local government, such as Milestone and Genetec.

While there may be ongoing concerns around the viability of facial biometric data, the video surveillance market overall presents a compelling need for enterprise-proven, high-performance and scalable file storage solutions. Given the growing number of IP-video surveillance cameras and extended data retention requirements, state and local governments can find enormous benefits by employing Qumulo’s file storage as part of a robust video surveillance deployment to enhance and secure public safety, while leveraging Qumulo’s built-in efficiencies and real-time analytics.

For more information about video surveillance for state and local governments, read Qumulo’s ”Top Five Reasons to Enhance Safety and Security Systems with Modern File Storage” and read more on our Video Surveillance and Security solutions page.

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