Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
June 22nd, 2023
Author: Yogev Wallach

Freedom of Choice: Deploying Video Analytics On-Premises v. Cloud

Understanding the Differences

With the plethora of technology solutions available today, organizations are fortunate to have freedom of choice when it comes to software deployment. However, with the multitude of options comes buzzwords and industry terms that make it difficult for decision makers to muddle though. Let’s dive in, debunk the differences, and empower you to select the deployment option that’s best for your unique needs and environment.

The Options

Today, organizations can decide where the technology they’ve adopted is hosted, between:

  1. Cloud: hosted on a vendor’s server
  2. On-Premises: stored locally on a customer’s servers

When it comes to choosing an intelligent video surveillance solution, each approach has advantages, depending on the organization’s needs, which is why the ability to select where and how to deploy is so significant. The great news for end user organizations is that, in this case, there is no bad option: both cloud and on-premises deployments offer compelling benefits to solution users and can flexibly accommodate existing infrastructures, even as businesses scale.

Leveling the Field: Ensuring Security & Compliance

Before we dig into the ins and outs of each deployment, it’s important to note that both deployment approaches can support the highest levels of security and compliance. The main difference is who is responsible for maintaining regulatory requirements. For a cloud-based implementation, end user organizations must confirm that their software provider is meeting regulatory data protection requirements which may vary by industry. In an on-premises installation, however, the end–user organization is responsible for maintaining and managing security and compliance in-house. IT responsibility will be a recurring theme as we explore the differences between each solution.

The Players

1. On-Premises Deployment

For organizations that seek greater control over their video content analytics installations, in terms of IT decisions, configurations, and customizations, an on-premises implementation offers the following advantages:

IT Control: When an organization owns its hardware and software, it has greater control over configurations and upgrades; i.e., no changes can be made to the system without the end user organization weighing the options and making decisions. In these instances, the end user is in full control of the system updates, expansion, and management instead of the vendor.

Connectivity: Cloud computing relies on the users’ Internet connectivity, whereas an on-premises installation can rely on local network connectivity. In the case of an on-premises solution, the video content that needs to be processed for analysis, already resides on the local area network (LAN). This means that it does not have to be transmitted – which would require significant bandwidth – to be analyzed, and thus overcomes network restrictions that cloud solutions may face.

Customizability: An on-premises solution can be customized to meet an organization’s unique business needs. If an organization needs a bespoke setup, on-premises installations are more customizable than cloud alternatives.

2. Cloud-Based Deployment

Cloud services are growing in popularity because of several business drivers, such as budgetary considerations, implementation timelines, and staffing requirements, but they have some potential drawbacks as well.

Rapid Deployment: Cloud-based video intelligence solutions offer quick implementation, enabling deployment in a matter of days because little to no on-premises hardware or software is required. These solutions are based on a subscription model, which streamlines user onboarding and service discontinuation. Once subscribed, users can simply log into the service to actively use it and collaborate with colleagues. For organizations that need to start leveraging their video data quickly, a cloud solution may be the best approach.

Cost Efficient and Scalable: A flexible, subscription-based pricing model enables seamless service expansion, with processing hours, storage, and concurrent user quota packages. This model also eliminates many procurement, installation, and deployment costs, such as the expense of extra servers or an in-house data center. In addition, the customer can scale their usage up or down, paying only for what they need at any given time. Organizations thereby reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) and eliminate capital expenditures (CAPEX) for their video analysis solutions. This can be helpful for small and medium-sized organizations that may not be able or willing to invest heavily in hardware and software, or in the IT staff needed to manage it in-house.

Flexibility: Not only is a cloud-based solution accessible to users at any time, through any web browser, but organizations can also rely on their cloud-based video content analytics service provider to keep the system updated 24/7 with immediate, automatic updates. This allows operators to continuously enjoy the latest version of the software, executed by the vendor, without the responsibility to spend time maintaining the system. If you don’t have the time or the resources to manage IT, a cloud-based deployment could be your answer.

Privacy Concerns: One of the biggest drawbacks to cloud-based deployment is security. While cloud service providers go to great lengths to ensure the safety and security of your data, there is inherently more risk when you outsource storage. For this reason, many organizations who must prioritize security steer away from cloud solutions as a whole.

A “Best for You” Approach

When it comes to selecting technology solutions for your organization, there is never a “one-size-fits-all” approach, which is why it’s so important that organizations seek software that offers them the flexibility of cloud or on-premises deployment. These options have their benefits based on an organization’s size, objectives, staffing, and budget. If you don’t have the IT resources to handle an on-premises deployment, then a cloud solution may be a good choice. If you need special customizations for your business objectives and have an internal team to plan and conduct that process, then an on-premises solution might be the better choice. For organizations that are deciding whether to migrate existing video analytics technology from on-premises to the cloud, there are some special considerations, but it is certainly possible to do so.

Maximize Your Video Investments

No matter how you choose to deploy comprehensive video intelligence solutions, the most important consideration is making sure that you’re taking full advantage of your video investments. Learn how to fully maximize your intelligent video surveillance with our 2023M1 release by tuning into our On Demand Webinar: WHAT’S NEW AT BRIEFCAM: THE NEXT GENERATION OF BRIEFCAM

View the Webinar Replay Here 

This post was originally published in April 2020, and has been refreshed and updated for accuracy.