Utah’s Weber School District Chooses Qumulo File Storage for Video Surveillance to Keep its Students and Staff Safe
Video surveillance storage has a huge impact on student safety
The Weber School District (WSD) is a public school district located in Weber County, Utah, serving more than 30,000 students in grades K-12. The school district includes more than 50 schools and buildings, spanning elementary, junior high and high schools, and has approximately 7,000 full and part-time staff.
Throughout the District, there are more than 1,200 security cameras installed at the various school buildings.
For WSD, this video surveillance system is used more as a student and staff safety system that enables principals and administrators to review incidents such as fights, thefts, or other occurrences. “It’s used as an archival system so that we can go back and review what has happened in the past around an incident,” said Wayne Hadfield, security and access manager for the District.
“It’s becoming a great tool for principals and directors to get to the truth of an incident,” said Hadfield. “When we have it on camera, we can get the truth to both sides of a story. Sometimes we’re not made aware of an incident right away, so it’s good to be able to have the video in storage to go back in time to investigate.”
When planning out the infrastructure for its student safety system about seven years ago, the District invested in Genetec’s video management system, and at the time selected Isilon for its storage needs.
Centralizing video surveillance technology provides comprehensive coverage across multiple locations
Before using Genetec, the district’s schools each ran their own video surveillance systems. “Now we have created a centralized system, where all set-ups are the same for every school,” said Jared Ganske, network and infrastructure manager for Weber School District. “The system uptime has been good and it’s always available. This has taken a great load off of school administrators who are now able to more accurately research any incidents to take appropriate action more quickly.”
“At about the five-year point, we started looking into either replacing our Isilon storage with new Isilon, or finding a new storage vendor,” said Ganske. The District reviews its technology infrastructure every five years to ensure it is using the best, most innovative tools on the market.
- Real-time Visibility. Complex data in a simple UI.
- Scale Across. Better value per TB.
- Customer Value. Immediate access to technical experts.
Genetec partnership was a key decision factor for WSD
The biggest priority when considering a new storage vendor was that the solution would work with Genetec, as this would be the primary use of the storage system. “We needed to make sure that the product we were getting would will ingest video well, and keep up the demands of all the data that has to be written to the storage array,” said Ganske. “Most of the time users do a lot of reads and writes. The majority of the load on our system would be writes.”
Other evaluation criteria included convenience and redundancy, as well as ease-of-use. “We run a lean IT department here so anything that can make our lives easier is a huge advantage,” said Hadfield.
Qumulo offers a path to value and scale
“Our reseller presented Qumulo as an alternative to Isilon and we were impressed with both its capacity and its affordability. We felt we were overall getting better value, dollar-per-terabyte, than with Isilon,” said Ganske.
Qumulo’s real-time analytics were also a big competitive differentiator. “I liked Qumulo’s ability to take complex data and put it into a simple GUI that lets you see various elements in real-time, like your capacity, different IO hotspots, the files being ingested, and what servers are writing what data into the systems. That’s very powerful and compelling,” said Ganske.
High-availability and performance were high on the priority list for WSD. “It’s important that we have a storage system that is always available. Because if the storage system is down, we lose video recording. Which means something might not be recorded that should have been – that’s a big issue for us,” said Ganske. “It was key that if there were to be a disk or node failure, that the system could still receive video data from the video surveillance system, versus not being available to receive data.”
Qumulo was able to significantly increase the amount of data being stored by the district. “With our old Isilon system, we could only store about 12 days’ worth of video footage, or roughly 120TB. But we can scale now to 750TB with Qumulo, which will be key as we add more cameras and increase our storage.”
Qumulo also allows the District to retain its data for a longer period of time. Originally the District kept data for 14 days, but with Qumulo, it now keeps video data for 30 days.
Quick, easy, and invested customer support continues to delight the WSD team
Qumulo’s commitment to its customers’ success was a very welcome surprise for Hadfield. “It was a completely different experience than we were used to, where you typically open a ticket and you might wait days, and then go through multiple troubleshooting calls before someone actually takes your problem seriously.”
“We like the fact that Qumulo uses Slack,” he said. “With Qumulo, you get in touch with an engineer immediately and they look at your issue immediately.”
Over the next few years, the Weber School District will continue to add security cameras to its infrastructure as the number of schools continues to grow. Just six years ago, the district had around 700 cameras and now that number has grown to more than 1,200. Each new school will require 30-40 cameras. “We’ll continue to grow the amount of video footage that’s being stored in our system, as well as back-ups overtime as well,” said Ganske.
Weber School District is the 5th largest district in the state of Utah. Founded in 1904, the district services 43 schools and over 32,000 students.
- Video Surveillance
- Rapid scale
- High number of reads and writes
- Constant availability