Why Systems Integrators Need to Know These 3 IT Terms
A look at how virtualization, hyperconvergence and resiliency stand to impact the security industry moving forward and systems integrators place in it.
One of the challenges for the integration community is learning to speak the language of IT. Today’s IT departments are in transition as they seek to reduce their infrastructure footprints to save money and become more eco-friendly.
However, an alarming amount of security solutions continue to rely on outdated equipment, with systems isolated on their own networks. Today’s security solutions not only need to adapt to the latest trends in IT, they need to seamlessly interoperate with a range of enterprise technologies that integrators need to become familiar with.
With new technologies comes new terminology, and there are three IT terms in particular that integrators must know if they want to earn the business of today’s most tech-savvy organizations. Let’s have a look.
The term “virtualization” may seem somewhat foreign outside the IT world but most people are undoubtedly familiar with some of the benefits it provides. It’s essentially the underlying technology that powers today’s innovative solutions, including hyperconverged and Cloud-computing platforms. As the term implies, virtualization involves creating a virtual version of something and, in the case of IT, that means creating a virtual machine that can perform all of the tasks of a full-fledged computer.
Virtualization is a driver for datacenter modernization, which has become a key IT initiative for many enterprises. With virtualization firmly embedded in every datacenter, and as organizations grow increasingly dependent on their digital assets and IT processes to run day-to-day aspects of their businesses, IT becomes more strategic in driving business innovation and success. As security infrastructures move in this direction, expect to see the process of security become a strategic business asset rather than a cost center. IT solutions, like virtualization and HCI, make it possible.
Anyone who has spent time in or around security executives or other C-suite leaders at an enterprise-scale organization is well-versed in principles relating to resiliency which, at its most basic level, is a company’s ability to bounce back from various calamities. When it comes to the installation of technology systems, the most similar term is redundancy, which protects data and surveillance investments during downtime or system failures.
However, resiliency reaches far beyond the idea of reducing or eliminating downtime. Today, many video surveillance networks still leverage Direct Attached Storage (DAS) in the form of NVRs, which are much more susceptible to failure and data loss than the virtualized servers and shared storage infrastructures that many IT organizations are migrating to today. In fact, five out of nine servers fail every year, and it takes an average of one to two days to recover these systems, resulting in both major vulnerabilities and liabilities for organizations.
IT departments started moving away from DAS solutions because of these very issues; however, the technology still persists in the video surveillance industry because these systems are familiar to you as integrators. But video data is far too valuable to your customers, both in terms of security and business operations, to be left at the mercy of this antiquated technology. Today’s IT leaders and security managers understand that video is the largest Big Data application, and this fact boosts the demand for solutions that are more scalable, and indeed resilient, against data loss and downtime. To protect your business — and build new revenue streams — you have to ensure you and your teams have the IT expertise necessary to build video surveillance infrastructures that meet the stringent IT requirements of today’s modern businesses.
Technology is changing faster than ever and the demand for video data is growing at an ever-rapid rate. According to Wikibon, IP surveillance is the biggest Big Data application in the world.
Capturing and storage video surveillance data presents unique challenges to traditional IT and storage infrastructure, mainly related to storage capacity and ingest rates. Quite simply, standard IT servers and DAS appliances cannot keep up with the mission-critical requirements of today’s surveillance environment. Organizations with data-intensive environments demand infrastructure that is cost-effective, simple to manage and scalable.
What’s the solution? One option is to specify a single, software-defined solution with compute, storage and virtualization capabilities to implement a stable and secure hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) for video surveillance environments.
HCI combines virtualized servers and software-defined SAN storage on industry-standard server hardware, enabling organizations to consolidate infrastructure and scale to petabyte-sized storage without the cost and complexity associated with traditional server and SAN solutions. Storage, compute and networking resources are pooled to deliver continuous performance, efficiency and ease of operation. When deployed in video surveillance applications, retention and throughput capacity can be scaled linearly as an organization’s security and business requirements evolve; a critical benefit considering today’s data-driven business needs. Most importantly, system uptime and data protection prevent loss of critical information.
HCI eliminates the process of managing disparate platforms, learning vendor-specific management utilities and overseeing complex system administration. Instead, a single hyperconverged platform handles provisioning, monitoring and healing without user intervention. For security integrators, HCI provides an opportunity to deliver end users higher levels of performance, resiliency and scalability than can be provided by their internal IT organizations, and at a lower cost.
As IT becomes a greater force in the world of security, it is paramount that integrators understand customers’ specific security goals and video surveillance requirements in order to help them identify the ideal solution for their environment. When you are knowledgeable about both security and IT, you solidify your chances to specifying an advanced system and a modern approach that will be valuable far into the future.
Brandon Reich is the Surveillance Practice Leader at Austin, Texas-based Pivot3.
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