Twenty years ago, video surveillance systems had challenges with reliability. Video content was unavailable or the resolution was too low to accurately identify a person of interest in far too many cases. Today, video cameras record and capture video footage in high definition, and in some cases, ultra-high definition (4K). There might be hundreds or thousands of devices connected to a central video surveillance management system (VMS).

Many video surveillance installations such as those in airports, city centers, and casinos demand that video data be recorded 24×7, with no downtime, and with no frame loss. Why invest in a surveillance system if it is likely to go down, and not store images and video when they are most needed? Even video surveillance systems with fewer than 20 cameras today demand fault tolerance.

Many legacy DAS, SAN and NAS systems used for video surveillance were designed 20 years ago. If they have a failover option, they typically use active-passive controllers, where one or more stand-by controller is not actively involved until a failure occurs. The failure is detected after a short period through the loss of a “heartbeat” on the primary controller. The secondary controller assumes the responsibilities of the now-dead primary controller and the system continues to operate. This approach is inefficient, as “just-in-case” controllers must be purchased, yet they do nothing on a normal day-to-day basis.

Qumulo’s enterprise-proven scale-across file storage allows for simultaneous failures of multiple drives or nodes without loss of video ingest or playback. The storage system is created with shared-nothing nodes, instead of monolithic controllers. Any failure within the storage cluster is completely transparent to the video management software, since connectivity uses Qumulo’s “Floating IPs,” a high-availability feature that allows connections to be distributed across multiple nodes, to avoid client-side interruption. A Floating IP is a logical IP address that automates moving traffic from one node to another in the same cluster.

In addition, individual video assets are protected using built-in erasure coding. This data protection is superior to RAID, as it works at the block level rather than the drive level. Failure scenarios can be configured to protect against multiple drive or node failures, which avoids impact to surveillance storage performance. Also, unlike many legacy systems that employ double or triple parity to protect data, Qumulo efficiently protects data with 20 to 40 percent less storage overhead.

Finally, if needed, recording and evidence archives can be replicated between sites as part of the failover/failback process.

The Bottom Line: Data protection is built into Qumulo’s enterprise-proven file storage solution, reducing cost and complexity, while ensuring the necessary high-availability required for today’s video surveillance systems. Qumulo also integrates seamlessly with leading video management software solutions, such as Milestone and Genetec.

For more information, visit our Video Surveillance and Security solutions page.

Thanks to Brian Mitchell, system engineer at Qumulo, for his help in developing this post.  

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