Top Seven Reasons for Adopting Video Surveillance as a Service

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With 95 %1 of businesses adopting cloud solutions, driven by cloud technology advances and greater bandwidth availability, this article highlights the seven reasons why cloud video surveillance (Video Surveillance as a Service – VSaaS) is becoming increasingly compelling.


…Video Surveillance as a Service is becoming increasingly compelling.


Economies of Scale Utilizing Cloud Solutions


It is now well understood that the adoption of cloud solutions deliver substantial economies of scale. Let’s examine the various cost savings that shared infrastructure can contribute to an overall lower cost of ownership. They include:


  • Lower capital cost
  • Fully utilized hardware
  • Lower power cost
  • Reduction of IT staff/resource cost
  • Lower cost for redundancy


A recent survey of respondents using cloud infrastructure indicated that that 80%2 achieved savings.


… the adoption of cloud solutions delivers substantial economies of scale.


Differences Between Traditional and Cloud Video Surveillance Solutions


Cloud technology is still a relatively new innovation. With this in mind, it is important to understand that a cloud video surveillance system is very different from a traditional digital video recorder (DVR), network video recorder (NVR), or video management software (VMS) solution connected to the internet for remote access or storage. Utilizing a traditional system, the video processing and recording and management occurs on a computer set up at the operator’s location. The video that is captured can then be accessed later, whether for viewing or archiving purposes.


… a cloud video surveillance system is very different from a traditional digital video recorder (DVR), network video recorder (NVR), or video management software (VMS) solution…


In contrast a cloud solution manages the processed video and makes it accessible via the cloud. While the system may still require hardware onsite to communicate with the cameras and the cloud, that hardware is very basic and simply serves as a communication conduit. Remote access and storage of video is built into the cloud system.


COMPARISON: Cloud Systems vs. Traditional Systems


Traditional System


When you employ a traditional video surveillance system,  the video processing, recording and management will take place on a computer that you will install at the location. You can then access video via an internet connection for the purposes of  viewing or creating archives of the footage.

Cloud System


In a cloud system, the processing and management of the video is performed by the cloud. The system will often have harware onsite that will communicate with the cameras and the cloud, but the hardware is generally only serving as a communications gateway. Secure remote video access and cloud storage are designed into the cloud system.


DIFFERENCES: Cloud Systems vs. Traditional Systems


There are many differences between VSaaS/Cloud and Traditional VMS. The following analysis identifies features associated with more advanced cloud surveillance systems and emphasizes where the most significant differences are.

This comparison can possibly serve as a checklist for organizations that are comparing systems and assessing which best meets their specific needs.       


Traditional DVR/NVR/VMS (connected to the internet)Cloud-based VMS / VSaaS

Often a long, complex process. Requires the installation of the operating system software, configuring routers, setting up storage servers, configure cameras, and install application software.


A cloud-based system has on-demand deployment. Simply plug in the on-site platform hardware and configure the cameras.


Generally a very ‘hands-on’ intensive process to support and maintain the on-site hardware and software, firmware and configuration updates.


As it is a cloud system, the support is provided off-site by the provider.


Generally a high up-front capital expense for the system hardware and software. Ongoing support expenses can be very unpredictable.

Ongoing costs can be substantial.


Very low up front capital expense, along with a predictable monthly operating cost.

Monthly subscription costs are lower due to the economies of scale from the shared cloud infrastructure and support.


A traditional DVR, NVR or VMS, will store the video on-site and that storage is static. Changes require additional or replacement hardware (with related installation and configuration costs).


Comprised by a flexible combination of onsite and cloud storage with seamless access. Cloud changes can be made easily and without acquiring additional or replacement hardware.


Traditional systems have highly variable redundancy levels. Internal IT staff is required to maintain the system to achieve the required reliability.

Duplicate servers are often idle, adding to the overhead expense.


Cloud data centers have proven redundancy, maintenance and disaster proof processes in place. The shared infrastructure results in full server utilization and economies of scale.

Advanced cloud systems can be configured to provide a few days of on-site storage as a back-up.


With traditional systems, remote video access is not generally designed into the system and often added on by the IT staff with limited functionality.

Additionally, encryption is not common, creating privacy concerns. Browser Incompatibilities are common.


Cloud-based systems were designed for remote access. Advanced systems have seamless video access & streaming.

Additionally, most provide encryption on-site and when sending data.


Traditional systems become obsolete very quickly. They may start with rich features, but the core feature set is established when the hardware is acquired.  Firmware updates can be downloaded, but there is limited ability for technology updates. Updates are manual and support intensive.

 Updates can be automatically delivered via the internet to your on-site hardware. Your system is continuously evolving for new innovations.




The adoption of video surveillance as a service has the ability to deliver substantial economies of scale.  A comparison of features further underscores the benefits of adopting video surveillances as a service for your video surveillance requirements.


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