Video in the Cloud

February 19th, 2013

Cloud has become quite the buzzword when it comes to applications.  Let’s do this in the cloud; let’s do that in the cloud.  There have been some real success stories when it comes to hosted applications which are those applications that reside in the cloud.  Salesforce.com is one that immediately comes to mind.  But, not all applications have been well-suited to a hosted model.  With the ongoing march of technological progress, that is now changing.

One of the technologies that has improved over time is broadband Internet access.  As the broadband providers have increased the throughput of their networks, more bandwidth has become available to facilitate the delivery of hosted applications.  While the bandwidth has been readily available for basic application access from hosted providers, more bandwidth-intensive applications have not always been supported by the available bandwidth.  I believe that video surveillance applications fall into the latter category.

But, all of that is changing for several reasons.  First, we are seeing the availability of more bandwidth as broadband networks evolve.  Internet Service Providers are pushing fiber optic transportation technology deeper into their networks which helps to provide more bandwidth.  Second, video is becoming more compact.  More efficient H.264 compression is now widely adopted and there is work underway on the next generation video compression technology which has been dubbed H.265.  Third, technology and application developers have created hybrid solutions to allow for some local storage of surveillance video while also delivering some clips and clip control functionality through hosted applications in the cloud.

One example of this is MAXPRO Cloud from Honeywell.  With this solution, a local device sits at the local video surveillance site and stores some small amount of video while also acting as the gateway for the cloud storage solution.  The local gateway device along with the cloud storage take the place of a traditional Digital Video Recorder.

In this recent article from Security InfoWatch, an example is provided of a Jersey Mike’s franchisee who is using a hosted video surveillance solution.  The article provides a good overview of how it works and the benefits of using a cloud-based solution.

While larger, enterprise-class video surveillance system installations will not be good candidates for hosted video applications, smaller video installations will migrate more and more towards hosted platforms for their ease of use and anywhere, any-time access.

If you have any questions, please email me at scotth@verifiedsecurity.com.

-Scott Hightower, Verified Security