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Cloud vs. On-Prem Video Management Solutions: Choosing the Right Footing for Surveillance Systems

In an age where surveillance is a critical aspect of operations for countless industries, the debate between adopting cloud-based or on-premise video management is more relevant than ever. The choice can not only impact the security posture of a business but also affects budgets, performance, and scalability. It’s a decision-making crossroad that merits a deep understanding of the respective benefits and trade-offs. In this article, we’ll dissect the pros and cons of cloud and on-premise video management solutions to assist businesses in finding their technological and security footing for the future. 

What is Cloud-Based Video Management? 

Cloud-based video management involves storing, managing, and analyzing surveillance footage using off-site servers, often referred to as Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS). Bandwidth limitations affect reliability, requiring careful consideration of Internet service provider (ISP) capabilities. The ISP connection determines how many cameras can be supported in an all-cloud system. Security implications in storing video data in the cloud versus on-premises servers include ensuring data privacy and compliance with regulations. End users must choose cloud providers with strong security measures to safeguard their data. Transitioning to a cloud-based system entails wholesale camera replacement and significant costly Internet connection upgrades. So, while the maintenance of the system becomes much simpler, choosing a full cloud-based VMS can lead to prohibitive ISP fees vendor lock-in and high replacement costs if dissatisfied with the service. 

What is On-Premise Video Management?  

On-premise video management entails keeping all surveillance data and infrastructure within the company’s premises. This closed system offers enhanced security, as the organization can implement rigorous security measures, including firewalls and certifications.  All sensitive data, such as GDPR protected data, remains locally stored, allowing the organization to implement robust protection and security measures. However, the burden of system maintenance is higher since all server systems required to operate the VMS system are on site, under the purview of the IT teams for updates, patching, etc.  Further, in order to deliver external access of on-prem VMS systems, port forwarding must be performed to the firewall which weakens the IT security posture.  

A Hybrid Solution 

Factors influencing the decision-making process between cloud-based and on-premise video management solutions include flexibility in camera selection and the ability to switch brands if desired. In contrast, full cloud solutions often lock users into specific brands, limiting flexibility and potentially increasing costs. 

Our solution, Salient Cloud Serivces, stands out for offering the best of both worlds.  Our unique approach allows you to leverage the cloud for management without it being a functional requirement for system operation. It can operate normally with the dependability of an on-premise solution while delivering the benefits of a cloud-based management solution.  Additionally, combining the flexibility of an on-premise system with cloud capabilities enhances scalability and operational efficiency. Our hybrid solution bridges these worlds, offering the dependability of on-premise systems while leveraging the flexibility and accessibility of the cloud.  

One other key advantage the hybrid cloud solution brings is remote access to the video system without the need for complex firewall configurations, thus maintaining strong network security. By combining the strengths of both approaches, businesses can optimize operational efficiency, scalability, and their security posture. 

Ultimately, the decision between cloud-based and on-premise video management solutions rest on factors such as camera selection flexibility, brand lock-in considerations, and alignment with security and compliance requirements. With careful deliberation and informed decision-making, businesses can navigate this technological landscape with confidence, ensuring their surveillance system is well-equipped to meet both current and future needs. 

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