Redundancy, failover, edge recording and proactive background checks
When several, often hundreds, of cameras are used at the same time for monitoring, process optimization and process documentation, they generate terabytes of data. The purpose of a highly complex video security system is to monitor areas, analyze and report anything out of the ordinary, correctly store all collected data and enable the immediate retrieval of all required images. When it comes to image research, events have to be quickly available hours, days, weeks and months later. This is the only way they can help shed light on an incident and they are even admitted as evidence in a legal dispute. But what happens if this very piece of evidence was not documented or cannot be retrieved due to human error, technical malfunction or a worn out part?
This must not happen under any circumstance. Professional video security systems do not trust anyone or anything – neither the user nor the surrounding technology. Their strength lies in always being one step ahead of a potential breakdown, whatever the reason. In fact, they’re always four steps ahead:
1. Redundancy of power supplies, software, processors and storage
Redundancy means that there are several identical components. This refers to hardware components such as power supplies or fans. The components are generally operated in parallel, this is called mirroring. The failure of a component, be it the power supply unit or a piece of software, is compensated by the presence of two identical components. Even the operating system can be mirrored. If the operating system’s hard disk fails, another one takes over. This change goes unnoticed by the user. An automatically generated message alerts staff to the defective component so that it can be replaced immediately.
A RAID system is a redundant array of independent disks. In this technology, hard disks are organized to form logical drives; this requires at least one more disk than is used by the net storage capacity. Image data in particular are most easily secured with a RAID system. There are different levels of security. RAID 1 is simple mirroring, RAID level 5 or 6 involves several disks that ensure availability. All image data are recorded permanently and completely.
2. Failover: Change from one server or recorder to the other
When one server or recorder fails, another one takes over. Failover concepts, thanks to intelligent software control, ensure availability. The system itself is built on the basis of so-called primary recorders. One or more additional recorders compensates for the failure of primary recorders. The Security Information Management, which we at Geutebrück call G-SIM, ensures that a defective device is replaced in a manner that is transparent for the user. Names, numbers and access sites of the cameras remain identical. The terrain remains familiar and thus secure. Controlled by G-SIM, all recordings are also automatically retrieved from the correct image database if the failed recorder is back in operation. Annoying manual searching for the right storage location is not necessary.
3. Edge recording: Failure safety of the cameras
The concept of failure safety does not just include the recorder side, but also the side of the cameras. Edge recording means: The image data is additionally stored in the camera on an SD card. If the network fails, the image data is backed up. As soon as the network is available again, this image data is fed into the image database in the recorder via a separate stream.
4. Actively avoiding failure: G-Health
For some components, an imminent failure announces itself in the background. You have to pay close attention, and that is precisely what G-Health does. G-Health takes preventive action, which means that the recorder and sever cannot fail. If there are minor abnormalities in sectors of the hard disks, the administrator receives an alert in time. This allows plenty of time to replace the faulty hard disk before it causes problems or breaks down entirely.
Reliability: Learn more about our solutions in the video
You can tell whether something is reliable and of a high quality only when there is a crisis.
Highly complex video systems with up to several hundred cameras that are used for monitoring, process optimization or process documentation have to deliver the right image at the right time at the press of a button. Immediately. A good system processes images in such a way that they can be retrieved immediately and for the long-term.