Selecting a mission-critical server for enterprise surveillance

Selecting a mission-critical server for enterprise surveillance

Don’t fall at the first hurdle when it comes to protecting your mission-critical applications. Find the right server for enterprise surveillance to stay protected.

Servers are mission-critical for many companies and need to be protected from any scenario that could lead to either the loss of vital data or business functions. The server is also the single most expensive piece of equipment in an enterprise surveillance system. So when selecting a server it’s vital that the resilience of the server is considered.

If you’re buying a server intended to replace multiple products think carefully about the repercussions to your business should the product fail. Most specialist servers built for mission-critical applications have multiple resilience levels built in as standard and feature true enterprise-class components that have significantly lower failure rates compared with normal commodity components.

But failures can and do happen – and when it does it’s most likely to be the hard drive. Surveillance drives are a step up from commodity drives for the budget conscious, however, if your data is valuable then you’d be wise to opt for true enterprise drives.

A hardware RAID in RAID5 should be the minimum HDD resilience you should be considering for any enterprise application. Adding an extra redundant disk in the form of RAID5 plus Hot Spare or RAID6 buys you time and additional resilience in the event of HDD failure.

Higher storage solutions should employ multiple RAID arrays (such as RAID50 or RAID60 with Hot Spares) which increase performance, reduce RAID rebuild time and also reduce the statistical probability that a drive failure can break your storage array.

The second most common component to fail in servers is the power supply – and if it does it will render the entire CCTV system useless unless you have a backup in place.

Severe weather can cause power fluctuations, while poor electrical infrastructure in the building can lead to power outages. The power supply unit itself could be faulty. For this reason, dual redundant power supplies should be specified as standard.

To preserve the integrity of the video archive, drives that run the operating system and VMS application should be separate and mirrored. Another very important part of the server is the quality and resilience of the RAID card which is where the hard work happens. Having battery backup for your RAID card will ensure at least your archive is protected and shuts down correctly in the event of a power failure.

Where possible select servers with host-swap redundant components. This means that failed components can be replaced by someone with little or no IT knowledge without powering the system down.

A specialised server with the correct software can record hundreds of HD cameras at a good frame rate for several months. So selecting the correct server for your needs and opting for a well-designed enterprise system will ensure you’re protected.