Ensuring Data Integrity for Mobile Video Storage

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Third Blog Post in Our 5-Part Nexsan Assureon for Law Enforcement Series

When it comes to archiving body-worn and dashboard-mounted camera footage, law enforcement agencies today understand all too well the importance of maintaining data integrity. Police departments need to painstakingly protect video evidence from both intentional tampering and inadvertent file corruption. Data storage manufacturers estimate that one out every 1,500 files becomes lost or corrupted at some point in the digital archiving process.

A 100% Data Integrity Guarantee

Only one video archiving system—Imation’s Nexsan Assureon—guarantees 100% integrity of data. Competing systems don’t offer this guarantee, instead crediting back $0.30/megabyte for lost, damaged or inappropriately inserted files. But we all know that credits don’t make up for exonerating a police officer or preserving a critical piece of evidence that can put a criminal away.

The unpleasant truth: every other archival storage hardware manufacturer stores data on Seagate, Western Digital or Hitachi hard drives, all of which have published acceptable bit error rates, so you’re going to lose data (perhaps upon the initial save, perhaps after stored for awhile). One archival storage vendor even states in their literature that they lose 1 in every 1,500 files – so you’ll have to buy two of their systems for redundancy.

How It Works

A number of system features enable Assureon to ensure 100% archival video file integrity. When an Assureon server ingests a file, the system checks to make sure that the file is exactly what the camera uploaded and gives it a unique digital fingerprint using two cryptographic hash functions:

  • Message digest 5 (MD5)
  • Secure hash algorithm 1 (SHA-1)

The system assigns each file a serial number to prevent any files from ending up missing or being illegally added later.

Each file and its fingerprint are duplicated, encrypted and stored in separate RAID (redundant array of independent disks) disk sets in the local Assureon system. Assureon maintains two copies of every file to guarantee the existence of at least one accurate copy at any time. During the ingestion process, the system verifies that what’s in cache memory matches what’s on the file disk, thereby preventing initial write errors. If file A does not match file B, Assureon automatically notifies the system administrator.

Assureon also continually verifies archived files against their digital fingerprints and duplicates. The system automatically quarantines and repairs damaged files so they match their unblemished copies.

The Image One Solution

Why risk losing crucial evidence that might exonerate your officers? Available at Image One, Nexsan Assureon is the ideal storage solution for your ever-expanding volume of video surveillance footage because of its 100% data integrity guarantee and is a viable alternative to cloud storage solutions that can get incredibly expensive. You can also learn more about video archival best practices here.

Contact us to learn more about Nexsan Assureon dashboard and body camera archival storage