Surveillance System and Security Camera System Storage: Hard Drive Guide

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A Comparison of Seagate® Hard Drives for Video Surveillance and Analytics

Your security can take many forms—receiving notifications when the kids arrive home from school, monitoring your business over a weekend or holiday closure, overseeing visitor activity at schools, and monitoring hospital traffic flow and patterns to prepare medical teams to react faster. There are many scenarios and possibilities. But no matter where you implement these security systems, storage is essential as data is captured and analyzed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Seagate offers storage to support a variety of systems; here we’ll focus on those drives which support video and analytics. The applications these drives support include surveillance DVRs (SDVR), network video recorders (NVR), and centralized or cloud surveillance for video data analytics.

Surveillance Hard Drive Options
Surveillance DVRs (SDVR)Network Video Recorders (NVRs)Centralized Storage for video analytics
Surveillance Digital Video Recorders, or SDVRs, are simple systems enabling significant cost and space savings when capacity and scalability are not top priorities. Single drive, supports up to 32 cameras.NVRs support the use of up to 32 cameras in their multi-drive system to maximize space for networked video recordings.The opportunity to analyze and make use of large amounts of video data is enormous. Cities can predict and improve traffic flows, and stores can lay out merchandise in more compelling ways with the support of 100+ cameras.
Seagate® Surveillance HDD and SV35 Series™ driveSurveillance HDD and Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDSurveillance HDD and Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD

To choose the right drive, take the time to learn your system requirements. How often will cameras be running and recording? How long do you need to keep your footage? Where will you be storing and streaming your data? How many drives does your system support? These questions will help you understand which Seagate drives will best support your system: Seagate Surveillance HDDs, Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDs or SV35 Series™ drives.

It’s important to understand the workload of a security system first so you can determine the performance the system requires from the drive. Will the system be used for fast video analytics (the use of features like facial recognition programs), or will it more simply be used to record content and play it back only when an incident needs reviewing? If it is, then these factors are important to understand the level of performance you’ll expect from the drive. Today’s surveillance systems commonly feature advances in intelligent video analytics and megapixel image recording. In order to manage the vast amounts of video and related metadata in an intelligent surveillance solution, a relational database or similar traditional data system is often used. It is absolutely critical that reads and writes for such systems employ the utmost levels of performance and error detection and correction to ensure data integrity isn’t compromised.

Next consider what implications this workload will have on your system design. All surveillance applications expect support 24×7, but how does this affect your storage requirements. Applications that stream video to a central location may need higher capacities and throughput to accommodate their streaming activity, remote access and data replication. Ballooning file sizes in video surveillance are behind the insatiable hunger for greater storage capacity; such data can quickly fill even the most copious storage system. But sometimes sheer drive capacity is just part of the answer. Efficiently transferring these voluminous files demands drives with outstanding throughput, as well as robust error correction features to ensure data integrity is maintained during transmission. The SATA interface takes advantage of breakthroughs in very large scale integration (VLSI) technology and high-speed serial transceivers, enabling SATA drives to deliver an unprecedented blend of performance, flexibility, data integrity and reliability.

Government or retail applications usually require data be stored for a given amount of time versus a typical home security system, which is usually saved for about a month. This will help you understand what capacity requirements, streaming requirements and vibration tolerance will be required to support a system.

Finally, when you want extra assurance your data is protected, look into adding data recovery services before system deployment. Surveillance HDD models available with a Rescue Package include: ST4000VX002, ST5000VX0011, ST6000VX0011. These services can complement drive warranty terms to cover a drive crash, virus or failure to recover data should a drive become nonfunctional. Purchasing the service up front can potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Supplement your backups with recovery services to gain peace of mind and ensure you remain within compliance of industry regulations.

All are important considerations when choosing the right drive for your security systems and will affect the reliability and ultimately ROI of the system design. By knowing your system workload, the number of cameras that will be supported, storage requirements and drives required per system, you can choose the right drive for your surveillance environment.

 SV35 Series HDDSurveillance HDDEnterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD
Form Factor/ Capacity13.5-inch: 1, 2, 3TB3.5-inch: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6TB3.5-inch: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6TB
ApplicationCentral monitoring applications typically using IP cameras for medium-sized businesses like banks, casinos or airportsAddresses the need for high-resolution cameras and camera counts, and ensures cost-effective performance and durability in always-on surveillance systems.Bulk storage, data center, government or corporate applications where HD video and/or video analytics are valued
AdvantagesReliable performance in multi-drive systems with quick time-to-readyTuned for high-write cycle workloads typical in video surveillance storage systems; high storage capacities support higher-resolution cameras and systems with high drive counts for reliable drive performance.Fast random performance and time-to-ready in multi-drive applications
Data Recovery ServicesAvailable 3-year option with +Rescue modelsAvailable 3-year option with +Rescue models
Time-to-ReadyGood: Idle 1, 2 supportExcellent: Idle 1, 2 and 3 supportBest: Power Choice technology for customized time-to-ready and power savings
Performance210MB/s Max Sustained Data Rate180MB/s Max Sustained Data Rate175MB/s Max Sustained Data Rate
System Vibration Tolerance1 to 6 drivesup to 16 drives10+ drives
Data SecurityISE feature in SED or FIPS configurations2
Reliability1M-hr MTBF/SATA1M-hr MTBF/SATA1.4M-hr MTBF/SAS, SATA
limited warranty3 Years3 Years5 Years

1One gigabyte, or GB, equals one billion bytes and one terabyte, or TB, equals one trillion bytes when referring to drive capacity.

2See FIPS 140-2 Level 2 Certificate at


© Seagate Technology, LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC in the United States and/or other countries. PowerChoice and SV35 Series are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC or one of its affiliated companies in the United States and/or other countries. The FIPS logo is a certification mark of NIST, which does not imply product endorsement by NIST, the U.S., or Canadian governments. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. When referring to drive capacity, one gigabyte, or GB, equals one billion bytes and one terabyte, or TB, equals one trillion bytes. Your computer’s operating system may use a different standard of measurement and report a lower capacity. In addition, some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions, and thus will not be available for data storage. Actual data rates may vary depending on operating environment and other factors. The export or re-export of Seagate hardware or software is regulated bythe U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (for more information, visit, and may be controlled for export, import and use in other countries. MB641.3-1409US, September 2014


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