In this BlogBytes we will review some alarming incidents caught on camera and what IT departments can do to keep up with the demands of storing video surveillance content with help from LTO technology.

It’s estimated that there are nearly one billion surveillance cameras around the world – approximately one device for every seven people alive on earth.  The cameras are found in city parks, garages, street corners, law enforcement vehicles, body-cams, and businesses to promote safety, help identify unwarranted or criminal activity and to aid in judicial proceedings. 

As the number of cameras proliferates, and as the quality and resolution of the images becomes increasingly high quality (forget the grainy, grey images of yesteryear), a significant challenge has emerged: namely, how to process, manage and store colossal amounts of digital surveillance footage.  In this BlogBytes we will review some alarming incidents caught on camera and what IT departments can do to keep up with the demands of storing video surveillance content with help from LTO technology.


 Tin Foil Robbers – Foiled Again! Brazilian would be bank robbers thought that by wrapping themselves in tin foil from head to toe they could escape security detection systems. As reported in an article the robbers “proceeded to knock down one of the bank’s walls, intending to use a power drill and other equipment to break into the safe. Among other holes in their plan, the thieves didn’t account for the bank’s security cameras, which were filming their every move. The two men’s accomplices acting as lookouts attempted to tip them off as squad cars arrived, but one of them was tracked down in a nearby wooded area and proved to have a prior arrest record.” Thanks to the video evidence at least one person was arrested in connection with the attempted robbery.


Video footage has become a central component of law enforcement

There are many such stories where video footage was used to help thwart crime or used as evidence in criminal cases. To help with clarity and identification of components within the video footage more and more cameras are recording in high definition, but, this creates a new dilemma for storage managers – large video files! In addition, regulations can require that video content be maintained for longer and longer periods of time even though the footage may rarely if ever be accessed.


Surveillance video can be beneficial to help prevent and solve unwarranted activity. . To be most useful the video content needs to be high resolution to identify individuals, license plates and other evidentiary elements. It must also be stored for lengthy periods of time. No need to store these big high definition files on expensive disk technology, An IHS Markit paper called Caught On Tape, Now Keep It Secure states that “an LTO tape library can be implemented as a cost effective, connected, long-term, high-capacity storage tier.” LTO technology is well suited for large content and long term retention for a number of reasons including:


LTO technology has a lower ten year TCO than cloud or disk.

  • Huge capacity: LTO-8 technology provides up to 12 TB per cartridge uncompressed (up to 30 TB per cartridge compressed) which can help reduce video space consumption and storage related costs.
  • Low cost: In an ESG TCO study, an LTO-8 solution was 86% lower cost than that of the all-disk solution and 66% lower than the all-cloud TCO over the ten-year modeled period. Want to compare cloud and tape costs? Try the LTO TCO calculator here.
  • Secure: Tape provides offline protection and a true air gap, isolating data from software bugs and cyber-warfare that can attack on-line storage.
  • Easy to Use: The Linear Tape File System (LTFS) makes viewing and accessing tape files easier than ever before. See how LTFS can work for you here.

In a world where surveillance camera footage can help promote safety and bring resolution to an unwarranted or criminal incident – storing, protecting and providing access to the content cost effectively is vital and that’s where LTO technology shines. See more about the value of tape here.

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