Your security budget will drive asset protection, personnel management, and branding. However, your organization may be looking to trim the budget. It’s important to communicate that security systems just aren’t the right line items to cut and minimize. Underfunding at the initial purchase phase, or failure to fund through upgrades can be a headache if you’re lucky and a catastrophe if something goes wrong.
While some organizations will want the ability to save a simple database for system rebuilds, others may want a redundant recording platform for video surveillance at separate locations. These two examples vary significantly in cost and resources. If your organization doesn’t clearly define the term “back-up” when building this process into the total cost of the system, you’ll likely lose important data.
Set expectations for the amount of video and other data you need to retain and protect from loss. Be clear with the integrator so they can meet these expectations and be prepared to discuss the costs associated with data storage and protection, along with the options for data storage. Some companies prefer to store data onsite, while others may prefer a managed cloud-based solution.
System redundancy means that the system is comprised of one or more components that, under duress, can allow one component to fail while another takes its place without interruption. The term “system redundancy” is most often used for system components associated with database management, server hardware, video surveillance camera live-viewing, or recorded video surveillance footage.
When it comes to on-site server redundancy, organizations are deploying virtualized solutions in their data centers where multiple, shared servers provide the resources required to run recording, live-view, access control database management, or running of critical applications. The virtual environment allows for redundancy during a server failure. This is also provided in off-site hosted solutions, but the redundancy is provided in the cloud and managed by a contracted service provider.
Redundant storage for recording video footage is a highly specialized feature. In a redundant video storage system, two or more separate hardware appliances, or pools of appliances, are continually recording video streams, so if one set of hardware fails, the second set is still online, recording, and ready for playback.
Network switch hardware may also be deployed redundantly, allowing for one network switch to fail while the rest of the network operates normally with minimal interruption to IT or security data traffic.
These levels of redundant capability are limited only to budget. Devices can even be deployed in various locations for even greater reliability.
High availability refers to data storage, usually database or video footage storage, when it comes to security. In a high availability storage solution, multiple hard drives record data in a RAID environment. RAID is an acronym that represents one of a variety of ways that data is written to multiple hard drives in a logical format that allows for complete recovery. RAID is possible in numerous configurations such that if one or more hard drives fail, data can continue to be recorded or accessed. As the RAID level chosen increases in reliability, the number of hard drives on “standby” increases, raising the overall cost of the high availability solution. When one or more of the hard drives fails, the system will continue to operate in a critical rebuild state, which may imply that an additional hard drive failure could cause data loss or stop recording. For these types of systems, it’s critical not only to have spare hard drives in the system but also to have extra computer processor resources available. By properly designing and ensuring that spare computing resources are available, the system can endure greater numbers of failures and will continue to operate in the same high-performance fashion during the data rebuild process. Systems designed without sufficient processing resources may show system degradation during a system rebuild and may perform in a reduced capability mode.
The most basic form of a backup is to regularly export a database to another device. This is possible in many cases by using a simple external USB drive or network drive destination to store a snapshot of the database. This method, however, is not feasible for large amounts of video surveillance footage. The extreme amount of data required for video surveillance requires significant amounts of high-performance computing and data storage.
However, important video clips can be stored on network or external drives and kept offline or on dedicated servers, for preserving evidence of past events.
The Hidden Cost
Failure to clearly define and deploy a backup solution can mean the loss of critical information, loss of evidence, slow operations, and an increase in the manpower required to perform security details to compensate for system downtime instances.
For example, if your access control system database is corrupted, you may need to post security staff at all entrances and secured doors to verify identity before entry is granted. There will also be time required to rebuild the database, many times from scratch, which could take hours or days.
Underfunded systems quickly become reactive systems. It’s tough to prevent or mitigate a security breach, system failure, or major emergency when you’re working diligently just to maintain the system under daily operations. You’ll be risking profitability, efficiency, and overall brand value if, and when, an event occurs.
You’ll Need a Long-Term Solution
Whether your electronic security system is a basic IP-based video or access control system or is a fully integrated security management system, it’s a serious investment that deserves protection. Systems supported by regular maintenance programs, like the Vision Investment Protection (VIP) program can eliminate every one of these problems. Your solution is completely up-to-date, backed-up to your performance expectations, and consistently cyber secure. Maintenance is performed regularly, and the system’s server hardware and software aren’t an IT concern.
Vision Investment Protection consists of maintenance and service plan levels that, like your system, can grow and change. The complexity of your facility’s system will determine the appropriate VIP service plan level. Your VIP plan can then be customized as your electronic security system expands.
VIP plans include many of these benefits:
- 24/7 priority contact representatives
- Guaranteed response
- Emergency weekend response
- System updates for version upgrades and cyber security updates
- VIP rates and discounts
- Customer login portal
- Ongoing preventative maintenance
You’ll Need to Act Now
The goal of a security assessment and site survey is to uncover potential threats at schools, buildings, and campuses of all sizes. Ultimately, these solutions can help integrate a variety of technologies as part of a plan that works in unison to help secure occupants, protect valuable assets, and assist in preventing physical access to sensitive areas.
Contact the Vision team to discuss security options for your organization.