I’ve never really been a fan of the cloud computing model except as an encrypted backup service, simply because of the idea that you are storing your data on someone else’s computer. The industry didn’t agree with me and in this issue of the CCTV Handbook we see just how far the cloud has come and how it is now an integral part of surveillance, and will become even more important over time.
Storing data in the cloud is but a small part of the services available to surveillance operators today – and the security industry in general. What is making the cloud almost irresistible is services. Even if we ignore the data storage aspect, the services possible are immense. And as one of the people we interviewed in the publication mentioned, CIOs are becoming more involved in security specifically in surveillance in this case, because they have experience with rolling out successful cloud services (can’t escape the IT guys).
In the pages following you will see how many of the functions that once were exclusively on-site solutions can now be run in the cloud; this even includes the control room as a whole – CRaaS is the acronym, Control Room-as-a-Service.
Making use of these services cuts out the IT requirements of buying and running your own servers and whatnot, leaving that to the cloud provider, while you focus on the security tasks you are supposed to do. Of course, living in South Africa means that the issues of power supply and connectivity need to be considered with care before ‘cloudifying’.
Of course, the edge is also a segment of the market that offers excellent opportunities, from storing data and doing analytics on the camera and transferring it to the cloud when convenient (or to your own servers). As the analytics and AI improve and camera-based analytics become more reliable, this will change the scope of black-screen monitoring significantly. Again, there is the issue that you still want your video data stored somewhere in order to do investigations and gain intelligence etc.
The primary takeaway from our round table, however, is that a hybrid solution will be the way to go for the foreseeable future. This hybrid will include cloud, on-site and edge services or functionality in order to ensure your surveillance operation works as required. Pure cloud surveillance operations are possible, and being done, but there are still issues many feel unsure about (like power, connectivity and security), so it won’t be mainstream in our region for some time.
I hope you enjoy this year’s CCTV Handbook, which was put together in the fire of Eskom’s fiddling. If we missed something or if you think there is something we should focus on in future, please let me know along with any other comments at email@example.com.
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