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September 04, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Moving Your Video Recorder to a Cloud NVR

Over the years, traditional video recording methods have gone stagnant. Now more than ever, it's essential for businesses to invest in a video security solution that improves their overall business and removes the pain created from traditional legacy systems.

The purpose of this article is to inform you about the different recorder options and why recording over the cloud may fit your needs. Here’s what we’ll discuss:

  1. What is a NVR, DVR, and Cloud NVR?
  2. The Pros / Cons of a Cloud NVR

NVR vs. DVR vs. Cloud NVR

What is a NVR?

NVR stands for network video recorder. Typically, this recorder is used with IP cameras which handle all encoding and processing through a connected network cable. Displaying the video is done through an external monitor and storage is done through a disk drive, USB flash drive, memory card, or physical mass storage device.

NVR Systems

There are two types of network video recorders – PoE (generally has ethernet ports to connect PoE cameras) and Wi-Fi (does not have any ports since the cameras connect over Wi-Fi).

What is a DVR?

DVR Systems

DVR stands for digital video recorder and is primarily used with analog cameras. Displaying the video and storage is done similarly to NVRs, but where the two differ is how the cameras are connected to the recorder. DVRs use coaxial cabling, while NVRs use PoE or Wi-Fi.

What is a Cloud NVR?

Cloud NVR (CVR)

Cloud NVR, or in other words, Cloud Video Recorder, is a cloud infrastructure that acts like an NVR/DVR but can be securely accessed anywhere at any time. Displaying the video is done either through a software application or browser and storage is handled in the cloud. Cloud NVR usually requires a camera, power, and internet connection to operate.

The Pros and Cons of Cloud NVR

Pros

1. Managing Infrastructure

One of the most apparent pros of using a cloud video recorder is the ability to remove the need to maintain multiple pieces of hardware. With traditional systems, organizations must purchase external hard drives, servers, cables, and etc. Companies must then maintain the additional hardware to ensure optimal functionality.

By streamlining video recording, organizations will have to only manage the cameras. Handling additional hardware is no longer required, which provides organizations more productivity and freedom to focus on the things that truly matter.

2. Scalability

With traditional options, organizations are either limited by storage or a set number of cameras based on the number of ports in the back of the recorder. These ports often come in variations of 8, 16, 32, 64, and etc. If an organization has reached its limit, they must purchase additional recorders, hard drives, and servers that may be separate from the main system.

With a cloud video recorder, organizations can manage the entire system from a single console without having to purchase a laundry list of additional hardware. Growing the system will only require cameras making this a very attractive option for modern businesses.

3. Future Proof

Using a Cloud NVR helps future-proof your organization. The more hardware required for the system to operate the more likely it is to break. Backblaze did a failure rate test for typical hard drives and found that by the fourth year, failure rates increased by as much as 12% and only increased as time went on.

With cloud systems, the camera is the only piece of hardware you have to replace. However, with traditional options - you have cameras, NVRs, hard drive, servers, and etc. A potential scenario that you must factor in is that if an NVR were to fail this will cause an entire system to go down and replacing it can be very costly. Check out our previous post, which details the typical components and cost associated with traditional video security systems.

By reducing the number of hardware components required, a cloud recorder simplifies the process and makes managing a video security system stress-free. Some organizations even push automatic firmware updates to ensure that the system continues to grow with your organization and is always kept up to date.

Cons

1. Reliance on the Internet

A common problem associated with cloud options is its reliance on the internet. The common misconception is that if a cloud camera is disconnected from the internet the entire system will go down. While this is a valid concern, some options continue to record even if they are not connected to a stable internet connection. If you are seriously considering cloud video security, it’s best to research different options to see which vendors have accounted for situations like this.

2. Bandwidth Consumptions

Some cloud video recorders consume a considerable amount of bandwidth. Depending on the system, a camera will take around 0.5 – 1 Mbps. If you have around 100 cameras, this could eat up 50 – 100 Mbps, which can strain and even overload an organization’s network. While this bandwidth issue may affect some cloud systems, our solution is not affected by it.

3. Compliance

For some organizations, cloud security does not meet compliance standards. This can be for a variety of reasons, including not having physical control over their video footage, not being able to store long-term, or that storing data in the cloud causes some angst. Whatever the reason, compliance, especially for cloud systems, should be taken very seriously. Organizations considering switching over should properly vet vendors to ensure they maintain high security and encryption standards that meet the organization’s requirements, especially when it involves customer data.

Conclusion

There are plenty of pros and cons with any video security option, but it’s up to you to decide what works for you. We strongly believe transitioning to a Cloud NVR can remove a lot of the headaches and improve your overall experience with a video security system. If you have questions or want to learn more, feel free to reach out!

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