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Where’s the footage?
November 2018, IT infrastructure, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Physical enterprise security and surveillance depends heavily on the quality and capabilities of surveillance systems. But even with best in class cameras in place, the system is flawed if it cannot securely back up and store crucial footage that may be needed to support criminal investigations or be presented as evidence in court.

For many years, the task of backing up surveillance footage was plagued with challenges: a lack of sufficient storage capacity to maintain records for any length of time; storage constraints and transfer speeds that forced the use of low-resolution cameras; interruptions in transfer that resulted in crucial footage being lost. These issues often meant that vital evidence required weeks later had been overwritten or lost, or that crucial footage was found to be of a quality too low to support investigations or prosecution.

Clearly, a video surveillance system is only as good as the fit-for-purpose evidence it can deliver. This means that even with best-in-class next-generation IP cameras in place, the network and storage supporting them must be up to the challenge of continuous, high-speed video and audio transfer and secure storage; as well as fast and effective timeline search for future analysis and export. And beyond post-event analysis and investigation, the system should ideally support crime prevention too, by enabling simultaneous recording and live view, and by triggering alerts directly to security personnel when warranted.

Synology has taken surveillance to the next level by integrating the Synology NAS IP surveillance solution with its Surveillance Station 8.1 software to turn surveillance systems into intelligent surveillance solutions.

Overcoming overwriting/lost footage/poor quality video

• Synology has one of the most comprehensive solutions to problems such as overwriting, lost footage, or poor quality video in the surveillance market.

• Its biggest model (RS18017xs+) with the expansion unit carries 96 3.5inch 14 TB hard drives, with the total capacity of 1,344 TB. Moreover, Surveillance Station's link aggregation technology, which increases the bandwidth of your Synology NAS by aggregating multiple network interfaces and provides traffic failover to maintain network connection in case the connection is down, not only safeguards smooth running recording tasks, but also ensures video quality is on par.

• On top of it, Surveillance Station's Archive Vault is a recording backup solution that can allow users to archive recordings to remote servers, while customising settings such as the number of days to be kept, the recording time of each day, the specific cameras, and more. The smart multi-stream switch technology, Alert Panel, and Live View Analytics not only allow users to minimise the amount of unnecessary clips to be recorded, but also ensure all the important footage is archived.

• In terms of business applications, Synology's Surveillance Station also ensures robust business continuity with features such as Centralised Management System(CMS). Unlike other systems, Synology CMS is a decentralised concept, and the PC now serves only for viewing and controlling the cameras (PTZ). This makes it unnecessary to purchase expensive video management software, as the most important and computer-intensive functions are already integrated in each server. Network bandwidth efficiency is improved because everything is processed in the server itself and the high-resolution images therefore do not have to be constantly transferred across the network for analysis.

• Moreover, you can add multiple Synology NAS/NVR devices as failover servers to maximise the uptime of surveillance services (N+M Failover). When a recording server goes out of service, the failover will assume the surveillance service. Once the recording server resumes working, you can determine how to fail back the services during the failover status.

Minimum specs/features for surveillance networking and storage

Users should consider features that help them to find critical event among a lengthy video.

o Smart Search - With Smart Search, users can search recordings for specific actions and behaviour such as general movement, missing/foreign objects, and camera occlusion. Once set up search criteria, Smart Search will search through the specified recordings and automatically identify any matching recordings, allowing users to view them.

o Alert Panel & Live View Analytics/Notification - Live View Analytics tracks targets during live video viewing and recording. Users can choose from several analytics types for IP cameras, and track suspicious events intelligently to trigger smart recording on the fly.

Pricing may be another huge factor when it comes to selecting the right surveillance system. Cost-efficiency is one of Synology Surveillance Station's competitive edges since Synology's core value is storage technology. Consumers' biggest investments are sometimes just the NAS models and camera licenses that they need, plenty of surveillance related features are already built-in or available in package centre with no extra charge.

The storage system should also play a critical role in a surveillance network. Synology can be viewed as a VMS, NVR and storage all-in-one. Not only does Synology NAS have a sound storage technology and capacity that ensures the quality and the entirety of the footage, Synology’s support of different protocol like SMB3, iSCSI, FTPs also gives users flexibility even if users decided to use Synology NAS as pure storage server. Synology NAS servers are Microsoft Windows certified, which means by using protocol like iSCSI Target Service, a Synology NAS seamlessly acts as dedicated storage server to provide iSCSI Target storage for user's Hyper-V environments, which will be seen virtually as a local hard drive for as many clients as need be.

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Further reading:

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