Top Surveillance Storage Manufacturers

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Feb 12, 2012

Determining the right manufacturer to provide storage for your surveillance system is a fundamental, yet complicated choice. The choice significantly impacts cost, reliability and scalability of the overall system. However, there are many different types of storage to choose from and an incredible range of vendors, both from the general IT market and for surveillance specifically.

In this report, we share our survey results of 100 integrators internationally on what manufacturers they most prefer for providing surveillance storage. This is the question we asked them:

Options

The breadth of potential options are vast:

  • Will surveillance specific providers like Pivot3 or Intransa dominate? They are after all the companies spending the most to market to our industry.
  • Will general hardware manufacturers like HP or Dell be most favored? They are likely the brands with the greatest name recognition.
  • Will integrators prefer low cost storage options like QNAP, Synology and D-Link? In a cost conscious market like surveillance, their low cost is certainly attractive.

Integrators cited 35 unique storage providers with 6 of those manufacturers standing out in the top grouping. Inside, we break down those specifics.

Use of the Favorites

As with all IPVM research, manufacturers are strictly forbidden from using the results to market or promote their products. This information is offered only to help the community understand what integrators prefer, not to assist in sales. All members must conform to our terms against promotional use.

Results

In some of the most fragmented results in our surveys so far, integrators answered with 35 unique responses to their favorite provider of storage for surveillance (contrast this with results from questions such as favorite camera or VMS, where leaders had much stronger showings.). These results varied from use of on-board storage provided by DVRs and NVRs, through NAS options, to large SAN systems. However, a few responses stood out.

Commodity Storage Most Favored

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

With Dell and HP garnering the highest percentages of responses, 15% and 10% respectively, standard, general IT storage products are still more often used in the surveillance industry, as opposed to surveillance-focused providers. A number of other non-surveillance focused providers, including NexSan, Promise, DDN, and EMC, were also represented, making up over 30% of responses. We suspect that this is due to these manufacturer's stability and reputations, as most have been recognized names in the storage industry for far longer than surveillance-centric options.

Some comments on these providers from respondents:

  • "Dell, while not specifically targeting the Surveillance market, has offered us excellent product and awesome support over the years."
  • "Dell is the easiest and least expensive option for small to mid-size requirements."
  • "HP - we are a partner and typically stick with familiar product."
  • "We use NexSan for our storage arrays. Very reliable units. We've looked into the "purpose built" boxes but saw no real value in spending the extra money."

Inexpensive NAS 

Behind the options above, typically SAN providers, manufacturers of inexpensive NAS units were the next most common response from integrators. QNAP led this category, with 9% of responses, followed by D-Link and Synology, both with 4%. Given their lower cost relative to SAN appliances, NASs are likely candidates for expanding smaller, more budget conscious surveillance systems. Many of these options also provide built-in basic video management for no additional charge, making them a simpler, and more cost effective choice for standalone SOHO/small business surveillance systems, as no server or VMS licenses are required. 

Surveillance-Focused Providers

After the NAS providers, surveillance-focused storage appliances were the next most preferred group, with Pivot3 gathering 8% of votes, and Intransa close behind with 7%. Given the large amounts of marketing money these two companies' pour into the surveillance industry, these are disappointing results. HP and Dell being more popular than Intransa and Pivot3 is not surprising despite their limited marketing, given their position in the IT industry and among consumers at large. For smaller, relatively unknown NAS providers, who likely spend little money on marketing, to be preferred by respondents, instead of these surveillance-focused manufacturers speaks to the confusion in the marketplace regarding their actual value proposition.

Here is what respondents had to say about Intransa and Pivot3:

  • "We prefer to use Intransa. We like the support we get from them, and they have a good relationship with the VMS manufacturers which helps us."
  • "I prefer Intransa. Very reliable, cost effective storage that is very very easy to integrate into the system."
  • "Pivot3. Their architecture is simple, the deployment is not overly complicated, and they have embraced the virtual machine architecture."
  • "Pivot3 - they just work and work consistently. Additionally, the manufacturer is very responsible and reliable. Good customer server, excellent stock of drives for servicing and a no-hassle replacement policy."

On the negative side, however, multiple users cited issues with Intransa deployments, echoing some of the concerns raised in our review of Intransa vs. Dell:

  • "Intransa has let us down on more that one occasion by not taking the time to listen to our customer requirements prior to taking action, so they are off my favorite list."
  • "We tried Intransa but we have constant problems with the two units we have installed that do not get resolved by Intransa."

Trends by Average System Size

Among integrators whose average deployment is 20 cameras or fewer, preference for NAS increases. The best example of this: 100% of respondents with a preference for QNAP and D-Link were from this segment. No other manufacturers were this strongly represented dependent on system size, with HP and Dell evenly distributed. Even Intransa and Pivot3, often mentioned as being less cost-effective than COTS options, were represented in responses from those installing an average of 20 cameras and under.

Conclusions

Obviously, some options mentioned by our respondents were more popular than others. However, it is extremely difficult to name a true favorite or best of in the category of storage, given the lack of consensus from our integrator respondents. Any number of additional factors also need to be considered, such as size, recording platform, manufacturer sales and support models, and more. Personal preference also carries weight in these favorites, with some integrators simply preferring one manufacturer's hardware or user interface to another.

That being said, Dell and HP seem to be reasonable choices for those seeking the "safe" option, as their names and support structures lend a certain credibility to their products, regardless of whether they are the lowest-cost or highest-performing choice. For those seeking less expensive NAS products, offerings from QNAP, D-Link, and Synology are likely the best starting points.

1 report cite this report:

Video Surveillance Statistics Directory Vol 2 on Mar 18, 2012
In this report, we aggregate and present numerous statistics about how surveillance is being used in the real world. Recently, we conducted an in...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
Pelco Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 11, 2019
Pelco had a significant favorability problem amongst integrators in our previous study (see 2016 Pelco results). Now, in the first edition of our...
CES 2019 Show Report on Jan 10, 2019
IPVM was at CES 2019 for the second year (see our CES 2018 Show Final Report) and is reporting on announcements and interesting news from the show...
NTP / Network Time Guide For Video Surveillance on Jan 10, 2019
Inaccurate time can lead to missing or inadmissible video, yet this topic is often overlooked, with cameras and servers left defaulted,...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jan 08, 2019
H.265 support improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and most manufacturers...
2019 Video Surveillance Cameras Overview on Jan 07, 2019
Each year, IPVM summarizes the main advances and changes for video surveillance cameras, based on our industry-leading testing and...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The IP Camera Lock-In Trend: Meraki and Verkada on Jan 18, 2019
Open systems and interoperability have not only been big buzzwords over the past decade, but they have also become core features of video...
NYPD Refutes False SCMP Hikvision Story on Jan 18, 2019
The NYPD has refuted the SCMP Hikvision story, the Voice of America has reported. On January 11, 2018, the SCMP alleged that the NYPD was using...
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact