Cloud surveillance, the ‘new kid on the block’ in the security industry, is experiencing rapid growth in the market. Every day, thousands of customers are making the switch to protect their homes and businesses through the use of the cloud.
However, there are several options when it comes to cloud surveillance and they can be a bit confusing. This dilemma leaves resellers and end users with questions like: “What is cloud video surveillance?” and “Which cloud service should I use for surveillance that is not dependent on a local storage device?”
Allow us to guide you through the types of surveillance and the differences between solutions.
There are three main kinds of surveillance:
- Legacy Video Surveillance
- Cloud Managed Surveillance
- Cloud Video Surveillance
Cloud video surveillance offers a solution that stores security footage directly to the cloud, while legacy video surveillance and cloud managed surveillance fail to provide users with 24/7 access to surveillance.
Legacy Video Surveillance
Legacy video surveillance is the historical method of viewing security footage. This solution connects video surveillance to a local storage device, which can be viewed on a monitor but offers no cloud access. Legacy video surveillance operates with a point of failure. If the recording device were to be stolen, damaged or otherwise tampered with, your surveillance system is gone. Another downside to using legacy video surveillance for business owners is that monitoring more than one location requires a separate login and/or apps to access each location’s security footage. Logging in to separate solutions for several hundred locations, like a chain of restaurants, is tedious work that business owners do not have the time to maintain.
Cloud Managed Surveillance
Cloud managed surveillance is simply a way to remotely access a server connected to a camera. There is no surveillance footage stored in the cloud and value-added cloud services such as camera health monitoring are not available – cloud managed is simply a means of remote connectivity to surveillance servers. Cloud managed solutions record and store surveillance to a local storage device. A storage device harbors footage captured by a security camera on a separate, local device that transmits information to a cloud. However, cloud managed does not store any recordings in the cloud. Surveillance is visible, but is not encrypted in the cloud. This is called a point of failure – if the storage device fails, you can’t see footage in the cloud from any camera. Your cameras are connected to the cloud, but the cloud can’t help when the devices it connects to are down. Cloud managed is similar to legacy surveillance, only the word “cloud” infers that data is safety stored. In reality, cloud managed still operates with a point of failure.
Another type of cloud managed surveillance is one that relies on an onsite device to communicate to a cloud storage location. All the cameras must connect to these onsite devices directly and then transmit the footage to the cloud. This specific onsite device can sometimes hold that video footage for an extended period of time and then transmit the footage during different times. This device now becomes a single point of failure, just as a onsite NVR/DVR/Server. If this device goes down, so does all camera communication to the cloud. It also adds extra cost to each separate location requiring cloud storage and additional hardware/refresh requirements to manage. For example, a business owner with 15 physical locations needs to manage each location with separate systems, requiring 15 additional hardware devices.
Cloud Video Surveillance
Cloud video surveillance is direct from camera to cloud, which means streaming from a camera to the cloud without any storage or communication devices in between. Cloud video surveillance is plug and play, securely connected and requires minimal network expertise. This allows a user to pull surveillance from all locations and view the stored footage and live video in the cloud with one login. This solution also has the ability to manage dispersed cameras across physical locations, perform camera health checks and analytics and use unified cloud management features for scheduling. Software and intelligence is featured inside individual cameras so they do not rely on each other or a storage device for working surveillance. Instead, each individual camera reports and stores footage directly to the cloud – no intermediary required. With cloud video surveillance, if one camera malfunctions, the rest of the cameras will continue to store directly to the cloud without fail.
In summary, cloud video surveillance is the best practice for providing access to and storage in the cloud. Legacy video surveillance and cloud managed have limitations for users, who are at the mercy of a local server or onsite device to deliver video surveillance storage.