The Alternative to Skyrocketing Cloud Video Archival Costs for Law Enforcement

Saturday, April 9, 2016

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

As more and more police departments use body-worn video cameras to document officer interactions with civilians, the amount of archival storage space needed for digital evidence is growing exponentially. It won’t be long before large law enforcement agencies will need to archive multiple petabytes (millions of gigabytes) of video files.

Two Archival Storage Choices

Police departments have two main options for archiving video footage: cloud and on-site hardware.

A common and seemingly convenient choice is to use third-party cloud archival storage. The two largest manufacturers of body-cams, Taser International and The Safariland Group (which acquired VieVu), offer video cloud storage services. But even with bundled discounts, cloud storage gets extremely pricey, quickly.

Buyer Beware

Entitled Taser is Charging Stunning Fees to Handle Police Video, an article appearing in Bloomberg Business notes that Taser’s, which is hosted by Amazon Web Services, charges as much as $1.50 per gigabyte per year for video storage. If you were to purchase top-quality video storage (without all of the functionality offered by Taser) directly from Amazon, the price would be roughly $0.36 per gigabyte per year, the Bloomberg Business article reports.

A recent article published in Computerworld, entitled Petabytes of Police Video Are Flooding Into Cloud Services, points out that Taser makes a much bigger profit on its video storage service (51% gross profit margin) than on hardware (15.6% gross profit margin). Clearly, cloud storage is not the most cost-effective option for law enforcement agencies.

And archiving in the cloud isn’t necessarily more convenient. Even with optimal internet infrastructure and bandwidth, uploading video to the cloud can be time-consuming. What’s more: once video files are uploaded to the cloud, it may take several minutes before they can be accessed.

On-Site Archival Storage

On-site storage of video evidence is a better choice for a number of reasons. Most importantly, evidence is more secure when a police department controls it. Third-party cloud servers are more vulnerable to hacking and other data breaches. When your department shares an off-site server with other enterprises, hackers targeting another organization’s data can compromise your files.

In addition, cloud service providers such as don’t ensure data integrity. This is an important consideration because during the archiving process, one of every 1,500 files becomes corrupted on average.

The Image One Solution & Data Integrity Guarantee

Available at Image One, the best storage solution for archiving video surveillance footage is Imation’s Nexsan Assureon archival storage hardware.

Nexsan guarantees data integrity. When an Assureon server ingests video files, it confirms that the archived footage matches what the camera uploaded. Nexsan’s file backup process ensures that at least one perfect copy of the evidence is always available. Nexsan Assureon also offers seamless scalability to accommodate the explosive growth in body-cam video footage.

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