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Calculating Storage Requirements for IP Surveillance

Published by Dan on May 10, 2007 12:49 PM

While IP surveillance offers many benefits over analog CCTV, it's common for prospective users to have questions regarding how these new advanced systems affect storage space. With added capabilities such as increased resolution, higher frame rate, scalability, and the continuous recording, streaming, and saving of large amounts of data, IP-based surveillance systems can place a higher strain on storage hardware.

While traditional analog CCTV systems archive footage on video cassette tapes, IP-based systems store footage digitally on hard drives or network servers. This allows for significantly larger amounts of footage to be stored, and also provides more convenient and effective search capabilities. But what factors must be considered when calculating the storage requirements for an IP surveillance system?

One of the first things to consider is the number of servers required for the system. This is determined by the number of cameras used, as well as several other issues including: the desired level of resolution; the number of frames per second; and the recording dynamics. Additionally, one must consider how long the cameras will be recording each day. Will it be continuous, or will the cameras be programmed to only record at certain times of the day (such as off hours), or when triggered by suspicious activity or motion? Depending on these variables, a single server can handle anywhere from 15 to 100 cameras.

When determining your desired resolution and frame rate settings, consider how you plan on utilizing the footage. Higher frame rates and resolutions offer clearer images and allow for more detailed zooming capabilities, but they require multiple storage levels. If you can find a happy medium, you'll save some storage space, while still getting quality results.

Another issue to consider is remote storage. Having footage saved in multiple locations is a solid way to backup the video files. Additionally, this enables users to move footage from smaller servers to outside servers with larger storage capacity.

There are many ways to deal with handling the storage requirements of IP-based surveillance. As long as you put careful thought into your storage plan, you'll have no problem making the most of the benefits that come with IP video surveillance.

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