Cloud Storage for Surveillance – Feasible?

Depends on the size of your system.

Man. I have never seen a more contentious question in our business than this one. So. Let’s talk about it.

Camera systems are now recording at 1080P and 4K. We’ve talked about the amount of data that is. For those who don’t know, you’re uploading 1.2g and 3.6g respectively… per hour per camera.

For one… maybe two cameras on an NVR this is doable. It’s a lot of bandwidth for a constant feed and if you’re relying on your in office or home network to carry the feed you are going to experience lag and slowdown across the network whenever an upload happens.

Any more than 2 cameras broadcasting at the same time is pushing a normal business network to unreasonable levels.

What you will notice is that all of the systems that advertise cloud storage have one thing in common; they have one camera in the kit. If they have more than one camera in the kit, only one camera is capable of feeding an image to the cloud at a time.

The one exception to this is the system, but the reason they can do more is simple; the cameras upload to the cloud with no local storage. This essentially means each camera is it’s own surveillance system.

So let’s frame this properly. If you want to do cloud networking, you have a decision to make.

  1. How many cameras do I want capable of recording at the same time?
  2. How much bandwidth am I willing to pay for to upload those cameras simultaneously to the cloud?
  3. Is it essential to have local storage?
  4. Why am I doing this?

Number 4 is always always ALWAYS my first question to any client who wants this service. Once again, I believe that if the why is essential enough the price tag becomes less of an issue.

In a nutshell, if you want to mix local storage with cloud storage and retain a half decent image you need one NVR for every camera on your surveillance system. This will make sure your feeds aren’t cutting each other off when things need to be uploaded simultaneously, and if something does go wrong with an upload you will still have the local storage to back it up.

That’s right. 16 cameras, 16 NVRs. 32 cameras, 32 NVRs. The NVR maintains the local storage and make sure all cameras are capable of using their own feed, something no system currently on the market can handle through one NVR.

So yes, it’s possible. It’s useful and it’s a great thing to have. However, please don’t let false descriptions of technology color your world. The above is how things work, even though we’re always looking out for alternatives.

Also, FYI, most people and businesses now have decided local is most useful and feasible. I tend to agree. Give me a shout and I’ll explain why that is.