The future of smart security

Smart security is advancing rapidly across the UAE. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera.

Complex, extensive camera networks already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if there is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. With 4K-compliant cameras projected to make up over 24% of all network cameras shipped by 2023 – there is a fast-growing desire for reliable storage on-board security cameras. The question for businesses is: do they look to break up their existing smart video network, by separating and compartmentalising cameras to handle data requirements, or do they increase its storage capabilities?

Barber Brinkman, Western Digital

As some people begin to venture out and return to work following initial COVID-19 measures, we are seeing demand increase for thermal imaging technology. New technology like this combined with more always-on systems being rolled out, mean organisations will need to carefully consider their smart video strategy. Previously, companies have preferred public cloud adoption. However, we are now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. One main reason for this change: latency.

Edge computing and smart security

Previously, companies have preferred public cloud adoption. However, we’re now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. One main reason for this change: latency.

Latency is an important consideration when trying to carry out real-time pattern recognition. It’s very difficult for cameras to process data – 4K surveillance video recorded 24/7 – if it has to go back to a centralised data centre hundreds of miles away. This data analysis needs to happen quickly in order to be timely and applicable to dynamic situations, such as public safety. By storing relevant data at the edge, AI inferencing can happen much faster. Doing so can lead to safer communities, more effective operations, and smarter infrastructure.

WD Purple Surveillance Hard drives have been engineered specifically for the extreme demands of high temperature, 24/7 surveillance systems. Built for always-on, high-definition security systems, WD Purple drives are designed to support deep learning analytics in AI capable NVRs, and feature an enhanced workload rating of up to 360TB/yr.

Always-on connectivity

Whether designing solutions that have limited connectivity or ultra-fast 5G capabilities, most smart security solutions need to operate 24/7, regardless of their environment. Yet, on occasion, the underlying hardware and software systems fail. In the event of this, it is important to establish a failover process to ensure continued operation or restore data after a failure, including everything from traffic control to sensors to camera feeds and more.

Consider the example of a hospital with dozens or even over a hundred cameras connected to a centralised recorder via IP. If the Ethernet goes down, no video can be captured. Such an event could pose a serious threat to safety and security. For this reason, microSD™ cards are used in cameras to enable continuous recording. Software tools – powered by AI – can then “patch” missing data streams with the content captured on the card to ensure the video stream can be viewed chronologically with no content gaps.

Thermal imaging

Health and safety is the number one priority for all organisations as people return to work and public spaces across the UAE. Some organizations are deploying thermal imaging to help screen individuals for symptoms as they return. Organisations that operate with warehouses, depots and assembly lines will traditionally have large amounts of cameras located outside of the entrance. With thermal imaging smart video in place, these cameras can now serve a dual purpose as a screening device. The thermal imaging technology is capable of detecting elevated body temperatures, with 10-25 workers being scanned in one shot, from one camera – making it an efficient and accurate process. This way, staff can use the information to help identify people who may need further screening, testing, and/or isolation before returning to work.

While this may not increase data storage requirements, it can change your retention policies and practices.

Smart security today is about utilising AI and edge computing, to deliver an always-on, high-resolution video provision that can help keep people safe 24/7. These trends increase the demands and importance of monitoring, which means prioritizing the supporting data infrastructure, including the ability to proactively manage the infrastructure to help ensure reliable operation.

Companies in the UAE need to make sure they have considered all the storage and policy challenges as part of their smart security strategy and Western Digital can help. Western Digital provides an unmatched portfolio of products, including WD Purple™ HDDs and microSD cards, to capture video for real-time analysis and actionable insights. Find out more at

Forward-Looking Statements:

This article may contain forward-looking statements, including statements relating to expectations for Western Digital’s video storage products, the market for these products, and future capabilities and technologies for those products. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including development challenges or delays, supply chain and logistics issues, changes in markets, demand, global economic conditions and other risks and uncertainties listed in Western Digital Corporation’s most recent quarterly and annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, to which your attention is directed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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