A capsule of storage

July 2017 Editor's Choice, Surveillance, Integrated Solutions, Infrastructure

Capsule Technologies was a first-time exhibitor at Securex this year with a large stand showing its locally designed storage servers. Capsule offers enterprise-class hyper-converged platforms designed specifically for the video surveillance market via its software defined infrastructure (SDI) solution.

Capsule not only supports video data, but also additional security services such as access control, asset tracking, video analytics and licence plate recognition, through one of the video management platforms it is certified with (currently Bosch, Milestone, Exacq and Axxon, with more to come).

The SDI allows the application to define the infrastructure, allowing administrators to dedicate certain resources to specific operations, allowing customers to assign input/output and CPU services as required. For example, a set number of CPU cores as well as network cards and hard drives may be devoted to the surveillance operation, while fewer are set aside for access control. It also allows the system to grow as the customer’s needs change.

Sharing IT resources between different applications via a virtual machine is not unique to Capsule, but the company has ensured it can guarantee the quality of service for each virtual machine and its systems are optimised to get the best performance out of the VMS applications is has been certified with. All with its own software, either designed in-house or adapted to the surveillance market.

This complicated set-up is managed by the company’s CAPS-OS (Computer Aided Protection & Surveillance Operating System), designed by Capsule specifically for this market. Within the OS is a hyper-converged engine with its own hypervisor (CAPS-VM), a RAID engine tweaked to suit video surveillance requirements (CAPS-RAID), as well as a Bosch-compliant iSCSI engine (CAPS-TARGET).

Taking CAPS-RAID as an example, this is a software-defined RAID storage engine that has been optimised for CCTV workloads. It supports drives up to 10 TB and the drives can be removed and replaced while the system is running without impacting performance (as can fans and other redundant components). The company says an 8 TB drive can be replaced and rebuilt in 22 hours, even with the system running at maximum load.

In addition, it contains a failover component that monitors the Capsule components as well as third-party applications and hardware. CAPS-ICE (Interconnected Converged Environment) is used to manage the environment from a single platform and assign resources to various tasks. In other words, it takes all the hardware resources available (CPU, RAM, storage, network connections) from different servers and makes the VMS see it as a single system. Administrators can then allocate the parts they need for different applications with redundancy and failover between applications and servers within the same pool.

Products and performance

The standalone products Capsule has on the market at the moment start with the ‘small’ CAP S-DR460R, a 1U, 4-bay server that can be split into two virtual surveillance servers. It can offer up to 100 HD channels at 180 Mbps of recording bandwidth and up to 40 TB of raw storage. On the other end of the scale is the CAPS-DR9060, a 4U, 90-bay server that can be divided into eight virtual surveillance servers. It offers up to 600 HD channels at 1100 Mbps of recording bandwidth and up to 900 TB or raw storage.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and as noted above, Capsule has certified its systems with a number of recognised VMS vendors. The company has the results of various tests run on some of its servers using these different VMS platforms available on its website ( www.capsule-sa.co.za) which demonstrates that power of its solutions.

For more information, contact Capsule Technologies, +27 (0)21 851 7800, [email protected], www.capsule-sa.co.za

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