Educational institutions face an increasing risk environment. Recent high-profile incidents further magnify the vulnerabilities that educational facilities face. This has led to an increase in public demand for improved security solutions across campuses. K-12 schools, early-learning institutions, and higher education facilities alike strive to meet the safety expectations of all stakeholders.
Institutions across the country are adopting video surveillance at the fastest rate in history. According to recent research from Campus Safety Magazine, nine out of every 10 schools have video systems in place, and the vast majority continue to expand existing deployments. Administrators are starting to take cues from the law enforcement community — exploring new applications for body cameras and opportunities for public-private partnerships, and sharing video with first responders. Video surveillance and these trending initiatives improve overall situational awareness that helps stakeholders respond to incidents more effectively and, in some cases, helps prevent incidents from happening altogether.
There is a huge demand for video surveillance, in particular, including new advancements in technology such as 360-degree cameras and video analytics. Schools are adopting updated video use cases (i.e. using video to detect unauthorized visitors or classroom operations) and these trends, along with growing security concerns, are propelling longer retention requirements for stored video. At the same time, the data obtained is more important than ever before. Schools cannot tolerate video loss, system downtime or the inability to access live or recorded video. Data loss can lead to major liabilities or lost evidence.
In today’s video surveillance environments, image quality is imperative, and poor system performance can drastically impact the quality of the video being stored — in a negative way. Traditional IT systems either don’t work well with intensive surveillance workloads or they can be prohibitively expensive.
To solve some of these new challenges, new technologies and infrastructure platforms are being introduced to the market. Flash technology – while still cost prohibitive for primary video storage – can be used strategically to improve video capture performance and prevent image quality degradation.
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is another desirable option because it eliminates complexity and cost, and brings enterprise-class technology and benefits at a more affordable price point. HCI is well-suited to a wide variety of applications. HCI solutions can be optimized to meet the unique needs of video surveillance, offering far more functionality to schools than traditional IT infrastructure. As more educational facilities look to adopt advanced technologies, such as panoramic cameras, more traditional IT storage solutions will be challenged by the write-intensive nature of surveillance.
Performance is the single most important aspect of delivering high-quality video and schools need to confirm that all aspects of a video monitoring system can meet performance expectations 24/7. The ability to store large amounts of video without dropping frames, which leads to image quality degradation, is of paramount importance. Resiliency is also critical as it eliminates what schools can no longer tolerate: system downtime and data loss. Live and recorded video is available and accessible even when hardware fails. School systems also require scalability, allowing facilities to start small and grow the system as needs and budgets change.
There is a growing focus on increasing surveillance deployments to provide safe and secure places to grow and learn, and new technologies can offer these institutions system resiliency and data protection for their video needs, which are paramount to providing security and peace-of-mind to all parties involved.
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