Is IP SAN the “game changer” in the market for IP and enterprise storage used for video surveillance? Will the scalability, flexibility and economy of IP SAN solutions re-shape the video surveillance storage eco-system? A new market research report from IMS Research, “The World Market for Enterprise and IP Storage used for Video Surveillance” forecasts the world IP SAN market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66.7% between 2008 and 2013.
A storage area network (SAN) is a high-speed special-purpose network (or subnetwork) that interconnects different kinds of data storage devices with associated data servers on behalf of a larger network of users. Typically, a storage area network is part of the overall network of computing resources for an enterprise. A storage area network is usually clustered in close proximity to other computing resources such as IBM z990 mainframes but may also extend to remote locations for backup and archival storage, using wide area network carrier technologies such as ATM or SONET, according to searchstorage.com.
Traditionally, IP video has been recorded on COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) servers or boxed NVRs. Boxed NVRs are optimized for video surveillance and work particularly well in low camera count deployments. However, they are not favoured for larger deployments. COTS servers have been a very successful storage solution because they are relatively inexpensive and scalable, due to the fact that additional storage can easily be added to the network. However, COTS servers are generally not optimized for video surveillance.
Analog storage solutions involve recording video onto a DVR and, where necessary, expanding the capacity with vertical external storage (such as DAS). DVRs are very simple to install and use; however, there are limitations on the number of cameras that can be stored on a single unit. The DVR market is forecast to decline as many installations turn to IP.
IMS Research forecasts that IP SAN will be the fastest growing product type in the market for enterprise and IP storage used for video surveillance for three key reasons:
1. IP SAN is being used to expand the storage offered by COTS servers, and provide IT features such as RAID, failover and virtualisation.
2. IP SAN is cheaper per TB than Fibre SAN solutions.
3. IP SAN can be used to replace COTS servers and boxed NVRs because suppliers of IP SAN have recently incorporated the server running the VMS, creating a single boxed appliance. This creates a system that is more economical and designed specifically for video surveillance applications.
IMS Research analyst William Rhodes comments that “the entire video surveillance storage market is growing because end-users are demanding larger storage capacity to cope with higher resolution cameras, increased government legislation, and the ever present crime and terrorism threat that is increasing the use of video surveillance. The market has traditionally been served by video surveillance companies, but in recent years more and more IT storage companies have entered the market. With rapid growth forecast, this leaves room for even more storage companies to enter the space.”