Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but -- from that increasing breadth -- can arise some interesting solutions that might be hard to achieve otherwise.
Such is the case with today's announcement (spearheaded by EMC's Iomega division) around partnership with AXIS (a video surveillance technology service provider) to provide a cloud-based video surveillance solution.
And there are a couple of interesting angles to this one ...
Video Surveillance Is Growing – And Fast
Next time you're out and about, stop for a moment and see how many video cameras are catching the action in public spaces. They've become commonplace in restaurants, shops and the like, and we're seeing ever more of them on the street, in parking lots and so on.
The reasons are clear: not only is visible surveillance a credible deterrent, but the resulting video can be put to a variety of purposes: from spotting the bad guy to figuring out traffic patterns.
Putting on my vendor hat for a moment, there's an analyst forecast floating around that states that the market -- today -- for video surveillance storage is $1B, and growing at 25% CAGR through 2015. Lots and lots of bits to store ...
But -- if you're a user of this technology -- there are a few challenges with classic approaches.
First, you're probably capturing data in multiple locations, and not just one. Think network performance and perhaps availability. Second, the data very frequently has to be viewed and/or analyzed in more than one place. Don’t forget that these video records often have to be kept around a long time -- think backup, retention, all of that.
About half the market is for systems with 20 cameras or less. Think cheap-and-cheerful vs. large-and-sophisticated.
And, stepping back for a moment, if you can dramatically lower the cost of the camera, the storage, the network, the service, etc. – more security can be had for the same investment. That’s a good thing, if you think about it.
Doesn't it make sense to think in terms of a cloud-like delivery model, maybe with a few unique wrinkles?
AXIS is the recognized leader in this market -- not only for IP cameras, but also the enabling software (AVHS) that supports the capture, organization, movement and retrieval of video surveillance data.
The AXIS / Iomega Solution
Couple that with a cloud-like service that stores, protects, manages, etc. and it's an interesting combination.
Hi-res images go to the local storage, low-res images are streamed to the AXIS service. The most recent video (usually the stuff that's most interesting) is right there and immediately accessible on the Iomega device. And longer term and/or safety copies are managed by AXIS.
Once you've got a bunch of video surveillance data, there are all sorts of opportunities to add value to that information. Adding metadata for ease of indexing is a logical starting point, as would be higher-value analytics on traffic or other patterns. And, of course, video surveillance is considered "regulated data" in many parts of the world -- think GRC, for example.
There's no such thing as a standard off-the-shelf surveillance system. A decent amount of planning and analysis, customization, migration, training, etc. is required. I know, all you IT-type readers are thinking "what could be so hard about setting one of these up?". Well, you're probably not a small business owner, are you?
So it's no surprise that I'm meeting more partners who are focused on bridging the all-important gap between standard products and services, and what the client really needs.
I guess I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy. I look at all this wonderful technology, expertise and relationships that EMC has accumulated, and I see a world of new possibilities. And, yes, this discussion would fit under the general rubric of "cloud meets big data".
Some of these use cases are in traditional IT areas. Others are using IT to solve entirely new challenges -- like increased physical security using video surveillance.
Like I've said, if you're bored here at EMC, it's your own fault ...