I apologize for my tardiness to the thread but I overviewed your scenario along with everyone’s responses, I thought I would chime in to offer a hand.
Like Bryan mentioned his EMC bias, I will be fairly biased in my response as well being an employee of Spectra Logic who is an innovator in the digital tape library space especially when it comes to our NVR3 solution for video surveillance retention and archive.
Since nobody has yet, hopefully I can address your question regarding the use of tape storage and its advantages.
With the NVR3 solution Spectra has a fully integrated, tiered storage solution allowing end-users with large camera implementations and/or long retention policies to manage and store their full resolution video on the most reliable and economical storage medium today……Tape.
NVR3 being a fully integrated solution consists of 3 components:
- Disk Front-end (NAS, Enterprise 4TB SAS drives, CIFS/NFS)
- VMS Software residing on the disk array allowing the NVR3 to integrate with existing VMS environments (Genetec)
o Software creates a low-resolution companion file, residing on disk (< 10% of original hi-res incoming video)
o Streaming hi-res original video to tape
- Tape Library:
o Infinitely scalable, most reliable, most economical storage (CAPEX & OPEX).
NVR3, with its low res companion file creation, eliminates the need for 90% of the disk environment. When a search of the archived video is conducted, the low-res file on disk is utilized for fast search functionality. When you have arrived on the archived low-res video clip or clips you need, start an export job to start streaming the original video from tape to a file system, FTP, burn to DVD, etc.
Lastly, in addition to scalability, cost and reliability there are far more advantages to traditional archive systems today but I will spare those for another time.