Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Tape Storage Solves Video Archiving Problems


The business world at large has embraced video, and demand for this medium goes far beyond the traditional broadcast media and entertainment industries. In fact, the real growth in video storage has been happening outside the communications field – across virtually every kind of business and in most agencies of government. If you spend any time on the internet or social media, the proliferation has been obvious.

So what has driven this dramatic change? The interest has always been there, as people love television channels and movies; but until recently bandwidth constraints hamstrung video’s proliferation through the internet. As high-speed service has spread across the country, more and more organizations are realizing that they can utilize video to educate, inform, promote, and communicate with the general public.

Aaron Brenner, director of productions for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team from ’08 to ’15 says: “When I started with the Kings, there were only a handful of teams in pro sports who were investing in producing their own stories. Today, you would be hard-pressed to find any team that isn’t producing their own content and telling their own stories. In sports, there’s a new story every day: stories about players, about big picture stuff, about what happened in last night’s game and about what will happen tonight. Video is a huge part of that.”

Additionally, with the rise of racially charged police incidents there has been a widespread movement towards body cameras for officers. This first hand evidence gathering can be invaluable in determining the true sequence of events and whether use of force (lethal or otherwise) was justified. But with all these new uses, there is a lot of raw footage. With raw footage comes an even larger need for bulk storage.

It is estimated that one officer’s body camera can generate a terabyte of video files in a year, adding up quickly. For each sporting event, today’s high definition cameras typically gather anywhere from 75-150 gigabytes of data; leading to far greater needs than most storage mediums can provide at economical rates. To make each situation more complex, both scenarios require that archives be kept (sometimes going back decades) for future use. So how do they do it?

Both trains of thought have led to the same conclusion: magnetic tape drives. The long maligned, legacy technology finds life again as an economical solution to a pressing problem – where do you store all that data? Offering rates that equate to less than a penny per gigabyte, advancements in storage technology have enabled individual tapes to hold terabytes of data on each cartridge. Fewer tapes mean less handling and risk in transport, while still providing the benefits that can come with a trusted storage medium. While cloud based storage options are approaching the same price points, the inherent speed bottlenecks still continue to pose an issue; not to mention the concern about constantly shifting security environments.

If your organization is embracing a video strategy and has a need for enterprise level storage, contact us and one of our experts would be pleased to help find a solution that can fit your needs! With over 30 years of experience in information management, the team at The Data Vault knows what it takes to provide secure, reliable service to the most demanding of situations.


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