If you were building a police department from the ground up, where would you begin? Where do you go to stock up on holsters, handcuffs, badges, flashlights, guns, dispatch centers, in-car computers, police cars and the myriad other gear required by modern law enforcement? A good place to start is the Police Security Expo, held this year in Atlantic City. It’s like a superstore for police. And Quantum was there, because police departments increasingly need to include storage on their shopping list.
This was my chance to check out the latest on-body cameras that have been in the news so much lately. Think of something about the size of a GoPro, but even more heavy duty, and sophisticated enough to actually begin recording 10 seconds before you press Record. The vendors selling these cameras typically had a good crowd of officers being educated on what it’s like to live with them on a daily basis, and the question of storage always came up. It’s a good thing, because law enforcement agencies are routinely generating over 1PB of data a year.
I spoke with officials – not just guys from the IT department – who are adding things like “retention policies” to their vocabulary, because the data being stored is proving to be a vital tool not just for prosecution, but for crime prevention. Our message about the importance of a tiered approach to storage was clearly striking a chord with the folks who are used to stretching their budgets. While grants are increasingly available for police departments to acquire on-body cameras, they are often on their own to find a storage solution that enables them to preserve more data for a longer period, economically. When a tiered storage approach is placed at the foundation of a body camera program it can help law enforcement agencies spend more on other surveillance tools by spending less on storage.
It was very cool to have Quantum sharing the trade show floor with the likes of Harley Davidson (the ride of choice for motorcycle cops). Visitors were particularly interested in the Calgary Police Service, and how they were able to tier data from 1500 on-body cameras and dash cams equaling more than 1PB of data—by putting a small amount of data on primary storage and migrating the rest of the data to tape. OK, admittedly no one was lining up to take a selfie with StorNext, but it was clear that police are coming to view storage as another vital tool needed to accomplish their public safety mission.
Want to Learn More?
Faced with managing content for a new body-camera program, the Calgary Police Service braced for a massive influx of new surveillance video. Read the Customer Story and find out how they created a body-camera archive that stores petabyte of video at half the cost of disk.