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Defining Cloud-based Solutions

By Bill Hogan

Cloud-based security solutions have been all the buzz in the industry for the past year, with many video surveillance and access control manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon to introduce their latest cloud-based offering to the market.

As the number of products called cloud-based increases, as a security professional have you ever wondered what defines a true cloud solution and how does one determine the difference between a solution that claims to be cloud based from one that really is?

While many security manufacturers state they offer a cloud-based solution, the reality is that very few, an estimated four percent, are a true cloud-based solution. A true cloud-based solution is defined as one that offers a fully scalable architecture that not only lives in the cloud but was also born in the cloud. It can be accessed from anywhere, any device and on any modern web browser.

For example, social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, are cloud-based solutions. So too is Netflix, even though it requires an app to provide intellectual property protection on mobile devices. A majority of true cloud based solutions require that little to no software be installed on client devices.

It’s time for security professionals to start to pay attention to cloud-base solutions because the benefits far outweigh the downsides. For example, both small and large companies have the ability to seamlessly scale up their systems with a cloud-based solution. It can be timely, costly and a painful experience to take down every server, upgrade servers, update field panels and put them back online every time a new software version is released. A well-designed cloud-based solution using AI (Artificial Intelligence) can initiate an update once every two weeks, eliminating downtime and the expensive cost often associated with system upgrades.

Cloud-based architecture should enable a single database to span across the entire product for every client, which ensures product version control. Every client is then on the same version and has access to the same firmware / software version.

Cloud-based video storage also provides added protection, ensuring that video evidence cannot be destroyed by tampering with an NVR. Once the video is pushed to the cloud, regardless of what happens to the NVR, that video has been captured and saved.

The technology market is going through a tremendous evolution, as more of the everyday solutions and devices we use in both the home and business become IT and network centric. The security industry is no different, with cloud-based solutions paving the way for more streamlined, secure, resilient and redundant systems.