Body cameras have been in the news this week with big stories in the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, and the cost of storage has been a big a part of the story. I have met with many different customers around evidence storage and the long term costs associated and I often hear that they are “going cloud” because they believe it is less expensive than on-premises storage. Cloud is without a doubt changing the landscape for our apps at home, on our phones, and in the enterprise. There are a lot of situations where cloud is the right choice. Cloud for evidence is more nuanced than lets say, deploying Office 365. Evidence data grows every year and sits unused for most of its lifetime. Evidence video has a shelf life of 3, 5 , or even 20 years or more in some cases. When storing that much data and for that long of a time, you have to think beyond the first 5 years. One of the most common offers I encounter when talking to customers is the “unlimited” per camera plan for body camera storage. This plan sounds like a great deal up front, but when you dig deeper, you quickly find that it is a much more expensive alternative to storing evidence in your datacenter.
Lets look at one example of a small city in California. The City of Alameda purchased software and cloud storage for 80 body cameras for $425,000 for 5 years. Each year Alameda will be on the hook to pay $63,000 forever to maintain their body camera video in the cloud.
80 Cameras for $63,000/year FOREVER
That is a lot of money for 80 cameras. Imagine if they had 1,000 cameras or even 10,000 cameras. This is the fundamental issue with the currently available cloud offers for body cameras. You are not getting any of the advantages of cloud and you are left with a bill that is too costly for most police departments. Not to mention you are vendor locked-in and the cost to change vendors can be astronomical.
Contrast this with a Public Safety Data Lake designed to store, manage and secure ALL your evidence data in an open platform that you own. A Public Safety Data Lake allows you to buy the storage you need when you need it. No long term overpriced contracts. It is open to any evidence you want to store and you are not stuck managing multiple storage platforms for your evidence data.
Join us at EMC World 2016 on Tuesday May 3 @ 1:30 PM to learn more about how to turn your Evidence and Surveillance data into a Data Lake.