In this BlogBytes, we will examine how surveillance cameras help stop crimes but create storage challenges!

Video surveillance cameras are seen in every location, from city parks to businesses and parking garages, as well as in residential neighborhoods and homes. They have become commonplace and for businesses, municipalities, and residences they serve a much needed purpose.


One of the tactics used by law enforcement to tackle criminal activity is to deploy video surveillance systems.

Video surveillance cameras can provide evidentiary footage that can be used in judicial proceedings to help resolve a criminal incident.  The city of East Orange, New Jersey had a rise in their crime rate that exceeded the national average. As reported in this article, “It reached a point where [East Orange] had an average of five cars stolen every day. Fortunately, that has recently changed for the better. The police department reports the crime rate has dropped by more than 50 percent. Burglaries, car theft, and robberies all went down by half.” The size of the police force didn’t change, “The biggest differentiators are video surveillance equipment and data collection. The police department paid for the technology with money seized from criminals.”

The city of East Orange used money seized from criminals to fund new video surveillance technology to prevent fresh crimes.


Video Surveillance systems can provide evidence for court proceedings and can also, by their very presence, deter would be lawbreakers. It is estimated that there are about 1 billion surveillance cameras worldwide. Many of these are now high definition cameras, 4K resolution enabled, to gather ultra-clear images and more detailed information. Recording in 4K can consume up to 400 MB of storage per minute which is about 1 GB every 3 minutes. Multiply that by hundreds of hours and millions of cameras and you have a colossal amount of storage. These high-def cameras produce better images but as noted, they create archival challenges for storage managers because of the extra-large files that, even though infrequently used, need to be stored for prolonged periods of time.


Since surveillance video content is valuable but rarely accessed there is no need to store it on expensive disk technology. Videos are a great candidate for LTO tape technology storage. LTO tape has essential attributes that make it the ideal place for video surveillance file repository:

Low Cost: LTO Generation-8 solutions have been shown to provide an expected total cost of ownership that is 86% lower than that of an all-disk solution and an expected total cost of ownership that is 66% lower than an all-cloud solution. 

High Capacity: LTO-8 technology can store high resolution video files with up to 12 TB of native cartridge capacity (up to 30 TB for compressible data). New LTO-9 cartridges increase storage space by 50% over their predecessor, with up to 18 TB of native capacity (up to 45 TB with 2.5:1 compression).  See the LTO technology roadmap.

Easy to Use: The Linear Tape File System (LTFS) makes viewing and accessing tape files easier than ever before like using a removable disk.

Longevity: LTO tape can have up to a 30 year shelf life.

Video Surveillance systems are in widespread use around the world to help curtail crime. Firms are using LTO technology to preserve the video content and reduce costs at prime locations and in the cloud. See the LTO TCO advantage here.