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Video surveillance systems – cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid?

Video surveillance systems – cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid? “The future of on-premises to cloud-based surveillance storage offerings is only going to grow exponentially,” BCD CTO says

Video surveillance systems – cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid?

YARMOUTH, Maine—Selecting the best video surveillance system for your organization incorporates a number of factors, such as cost, how easy it is to use and install, and which system is easier to access during a critical security event.

Cloud-based video surveillance systems use only an internet connection, as opposed to on-premises video surveillance, in which physical equipment or wires are needed for video storage. Other companies utilize a hybrid model for video surveillance, employing both the cloud and on-premises solutions for their security needs.

Regardless of which video surveillance solution your organization chooses, monitoring any type of business, from a small mom-and-pop shop to a gigantic office building, increases situational awareness, enhances security, and offers peace of mind.

Cloud-Based Systems

Cloud-based video surveillance systems have especially seen their popularity rise since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, offering easy setup and installation and easier accessibility, especially with so many employees working remotely over the past two years.  

Eugene Kozlovitser, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BCD, told Security Systems News that cloud-based video surveillance systems have not necessarily emerged as a preferred storage destination in the security space at this point.

“I would not consider cloud-based solutions as a preferred option quite yet in the security space, although they certainly receive a lot of publicity,” he explained. “While cloud-based surveillance systems offer many of the same benefits as cloud services that are offered in other vertical markets, they lack the immediacy of needed data.


Kozlovitser pointed out the benefits of both cloud-based data storage and on-premises storage.

“Many benefits of cloud-based systems, such as customization and software integrations, scheduled firmware updates, and remote access from anywhere, are the key drivers for mass appeal to the majority of systems integrators,” he noted. “However, many of those benefits are also available in today’s on-premises video surveillance solutions.

“Cloud-based data storage offers immense flexibility and ease of use to the customer or end user and allows for remote access to footage without the need of VPN connectivity or complex security measures. It is easily expandable,” he explained. “With cloud-based surveillance, the access, video cameras, and recording settings are all controlled through a single interface. In addition, it allows for data management at any skill level of IT personnel.

The CTO also pointed out that with a cloud-based system, the cloud provider “manages all the NVRs, gateways, and all software involved without the need of in-house IT staff. Today’s on-premises solutions, most notably hybrid cloud models, offer many of these same features at a fixed cost.”

Cloud Concerns

While Kozlovitser outlined some of the benefits that cloud-based video surveillance provides, he also noted some concerns that surround video storage in the cloud.

“The most substantial concern is the lack of individual control as opposed to being on a private network,” he pointed out. “This opens the door to the security of the data and potential breaches, as well as the cost of retention and possible outages due to unforeseen circumstances, not controlled by the site administrators.

He added that cloud services do not necessarily work for all sites or customers. “A thorough site analysis and technical survey should always be performed prior to making any decisions between choosing a cloud-based solution versus on-premises surveillance system,” the CTO said. “In the end, it really comes down to the immediacy of your data. Should an incident occur, can you afford to be delayed the five or 10 minutes it takes to ingress the footage from the cloud? This is where hybrid cloud solutions are becoming more and more popular, as opposed to 100 percent cloud or even 100 percent on-premises.”

Expanded Capabilities

In addition to video surveillance, cloud-based systems are being utilized in other areas in the security industry, according to Kozlovitser.

“Cloud-based analytics or AaaS [Analytics as a Service] are becoming more and more popular with already deployed video surveillance systems,” he said. “Add-on analytics or cloud-based analytics allow for the flexibility of retaining your current infrastructure by adding in extra features without the need of a complete system overhaul. Once built, your video surveillance system can assimilate into this feature set and offer full end-to-end capabilities.

Kozlovitser also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has played an integral role in companies transitioning to cloud-based video surveillance systems.

“The pandemic has greatly accelerated a global transition to the cloud,” he said. “This migration has also impacted the video surveillance industry, as demand has drastically increased for these services to be offered online and accessible from anywhere. Corporations moving to remote workforces also expedited this demand.

“COVID-19 has created new operational challenges which have driven the demand for cloud security solutions and new innovations. By leveraging cloud access, new functionality, and specifically designed integrations, this allows for better insights to assist in managing surveillance data and controlling future unforeseen events, such as the pandemic.”

BCD Offerings

BCD, a global video data infrastructure manufacturer, offers hybrid cloud-ready video appliances for its customers, Kozlovitser said.

“BCD offers Our Harmonize Bridge solution, in which we co-partner with Tiger Technology, that allows our customer the ability to have on-premises storage, cloud storage, or both simultaneously along with built-in disaster recovery,” he explained. “This seamlessly migrates their data to any number of private and public cloud providers, allowing companies to run their existing VMS while storing, managing, and protecting their critical video data, never running out of storage space.”

In April 2021, BCD announced a partnership with hot cloud storage provider Wasabi to provide video surveillance storage in the cloud, expanding the ability for both manufacturers to offer their customers both BCD’s on-premises storage options and Wasabi’s hot cloud storage solutions.

Kozlovitser noted that BCD’s partnership with Wasabi has benefited customers in terms of securing video surveillance storage in the cloud.

“Since entering this market from the enterprise IT world in 2008, BCD has always              focused on system uptime, especially considering the importance of the video being captured,” he said. “Partnering with Wasabi was a natural progression for us, considering their commitment to performance and accessibility to the data. This allows our customers to realize the same escalated level of customer experience in the cloud as they have become accustomed to on our on-premises appliances.”

Technological Advancements

In addition to the cloud, other factors are driving the growth of the video surveillance market in the security space, according to Kozlovitser, adding that cybersecurity most also come into play as these systems continue their widespread growth.

“Video surveillance systems continue to become more and more technologically advanced,” he noted. “Much of this advanced technology delivers greater ease-of-use to the system administrator, delivering them the tools to manage the appliance from their desktop.

“Industry demand will continue to increase parallel to ongoing surveillance innovations. Containerized VMS platforms will come into play. With the explosion of advanced edge devices, multi-sensor cameras, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), deep learning, and evolution of perimeter security, it is an exciting time for the safety and security market. But as these systems become more prevalent, more and more emphasis must be placed on the cybersecurity within these solutions.”

Future of Video Storage

When asked where he sees cloud-based and on-premises video surveillance storage five, 10 years from now, Kozlovitser pointed out that Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is seeing increasing demand due to its lower costs of implementation, scalability, and upfront investment.

“With an uptick in demand of real-time video data, and the flexibility of cloud-based solutions, the future of on-premises to cloud-based surveillance storage offerings is only going to grow exponentially,” he said.  



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