Who Is

watching out for you?

In today's world you need to understand a few more things...

Who Is

knocking on your virtual front door?

It could be someone down the block or from the Bloc

Solving the video surveillance tape storage challenge

10-Jul-2012 - Crossroads Systems believes it has the solution to the video surveillance storage problem...

of the need to store more video data, and the resulting costs.

Many surveillance systems resort to recording over the media, which is an issue when the incident isn’t discovered until after that time period has been recorded over.

StrongBox is a vendor-agnostic solution designed to let you afford to keep your video data archived on tape for years, yet searchable quickly online. In addition to speeding search, it also allows users to drag and drop files into the NAS.  

Developed in partnership with data recovery and archive vendor Spectra Logic, the new product is claimed to reduce high-performance video storage costs up to 81%.

Combining the cost-effectiveness and reliability of the T950 tape library with the fast file storage and retrieval capability of network attached storage (NAS) disk is expected to provide the best of both mediums.

The StrongBox volume storage medium is Linear Tape File System (LTFS), which Crossroads claims it is the first NAS archive solution to use. It’s designed to serve online, always be on, is vendor agnostic, and uses disk caching to optimize the performance of the physical tape. It also has a portable data vault for storing video for long periods.

“Take two shares, share A on its tape and share B,” said Crossroads Systems CEO Rob Sims.

“They don’t mix. At the physical storage layer, the data is not co-mingled. The leverage of that cache lets us open policies and mechanisms beyond a generic NAS, such as grouping of data.”

The solution allows all files and functionality except modify, because it’s write-once, read only.

Admins can forbid any deletion, while allowing all file types. Users aren’t allowed to modify files on the strictly write once, read only system.   

“If a file is loaded into any StrongBox system, it can verify that the file read was the file stored, even if it was years ago,” Sims said. “We calculate a hash code for every file. That hash code goes with the file on the physical media, as an attribute of the file. It also helps from the read environment. When you load numerous shares from an archive, you won’t need dozens of tapes, only one or two. ”

Crossroads has partnered with Asperra,  a firm known for accelerated WAN file transfer.

“Physical storage is the medium, but bandwidth is the element,” Sims said. “You need less bandwidth for the same amount of data or you can get it there faster. Plug into a StrongBox and access individual files over the wire. Write the tapes and export one or more to another sight. It’s up to 150 times faster than a normal file copy”

StrongBox can perform closed-loop monitoring and self-healing, as well as auto-migration when you update hardware.

“Don’t think tape, because we‘re making tape look like disks,” said Sims. “This is easy for users opening files or dragging and dropping to a NAS. Users don’t know tape exists. And we’ve made it simple and inexpensive.”

In addition to the video surveillance market, other StrongBox users include media entertainment and government.

“We’ve put together a solution for a growing problem,” said Sims. “And we’re doing business the old fashioned way – feature, functionality, and trusted service.”

[Editor’s note: If you think tape is dead, read Henry Newman’s excellent essay on why it’s very much alive.]