Archival Video Storage: Cloud vs. On-Premise for Law Enforcement

July 31st, 2016 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Information Management

Video Evidence Best Practices: Finding an Archival Video Storage Solution You Can Count On

Demonstrating accountability and transparency during a time of increased scrutiny of police, nearly 6,000 of the country’s state and local law enforcement agencies now require officers to document encounters with civilians with body-worn and dashboard-mounted video cameras according to Time magazine. Big city police departments generate roughly 10,000 hours of video footage a week, stressed Mary Fan, JD, a law professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, quoted in the article.

According to another estimate, if a department has 200 police officers, with each contributing one hour of video per shift, the amount of video storage capacity needed per year would be 33 terabytes (1012 bytes). Overwhelmed by the data explosion, many police departments are looking for cost-effective and secure video storage solutions. Two main options are available: you can choose a third-party cloud storage provider, or you can buy an on-site archiving system.

The Taser & VieVu Clouds

Departments that are purchasing their body-cam equipment from Taser International or The Safariland Group (which acquired VieVu) may be tempted to let convenience drive their decision-making, as both of these companies offer video cloud storage. But from a financial standpoint, that would not be the best choice.

When you see a headline like Taser Is Charging Stunning Fees to Handle Police Video by Bloomberg Business, you know it can’t be good. Though Taser claims to charge no more than $1.50 per gigabyte per year for video storage, the City of Fort Worth Texas is now paying over $544,000 per year for video storage for software licensing as part of Evidence.com.

Law enforcement agencies may consider purchasing cloud video storage directly from Amazon Web Services for a lot less but without any assurance of data integrity and no content management software interface, so finding video content afterwards may be very challenging.

Alternatively, on-site archival storage hardware costs around $0.50 per gigabyte per year, enabling police departments to realize a fast return on their initial capital investment. But cost is just one factor to consider in selecting an archiving system.

Data Integrity Guaranteed

Available at Image One, Imation’s Nexsan Assureon is the only video archiving system that guarantees 100% data integrity, essential to preventing the compromise of crucial evidence that might one day exonerate your officers. When ingesting a file, the Assureon system checks to make sure that the file is exactly what the camera uploaded and gives it a unique digital fingerprint. Each file is assigned a serial number to prevent any files from disappearing or being added illegally later.

During the ingestion process, the system confirms that what’s in cache memory matches what’s on the file disk, a procedure that prevents initial write errors. If file A does not match file B, Assureon automatically notifies the system administrator. So that one accurate copy is available at any time, Assureon always maintains two copies of every file.

Never Lose a File for a Fraction of the Cost

If you never want to lose a video file, Nexsan Assureon is the right choice. Many law enforcement agencies are now considering many are considering purchasing Assureon to be used with Panasonic body cameras, and they turn to Image One to take advantage of our extensive archival video storage experience.

Contact us to learn more about Assureon archival video storage hardware

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