AES and Seagate Featured in A&S Asia Magazine

Keeping Railways Safe


The video surveillance solution installed at the railway linking Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the city center keeps an eye on public safety with Seagate's Barracuda ES hard drives.

Public safety is fundamental to improved commuter rail services around Bangkok in Thailand. To ensure public safety, more than 200 surveillance cameras will act as eyes and ears to detect and capture unlawful activity throughout the train stations, platforms and tunnels linking Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the city center.

The IP video surveillance system, due for completion by mid 2009, will deliver full-motion video, captured continuously in real time and recorded at high-definition frame resolutions of 25 fps. New technologies like software-based video analytics will be utilized to enhance detection capabilities.

The success of the system is largely dependent on Seagate's high-capacity, multidrive, reliable RAID-based storage solution.

Meeting Standards

IP video surveillance is rapidly becoming the technology of choice for public surveillance because it offers more functionality and efficiency over traditional methods like analog or tape-based systems. This is mainly due to the advantages of speed, storage capacity and power savings. What used to take hours or days on videotapes to view and flag events now takes mere seconds, with captured digital video. Additionally, by increasing the amount of video that can be stored on a hard disk drive, digital video images are high-definition, offering crisper and clearer details.

Currently running on a system of wired networks that link together computers and components of the surveillance system, the solution specified by the operators will also leverage new technologies, such as hardware-based IP video and software-based video analytics, to better detect illicit events quickly and efficiently.

Stringent storage requirements were set, including features such as 24-hour recording and 30-day storage. This immediately excluded conventional non-surveillance-optimized, PC-based hard drives. Instead, the massive amounts of captured video data demand reliable, high-capacity, multidrive RAID-based storage solutions.

Storage Solution

"In order to maximize functionality, the surveillance system has to be powered by an equally robust storage solution," said Henny Beeber, CTO at AES.

Seagate's solution handles massive amounts of captured video in a centralized storage network. The drives are designed for RAID and Tier 2 nearline applications where high capacity, high reliability, low power consumption and tolerance to rotational vibration are primary requirements. Its features address the need for data integrity in multidrive systems — important factors when 10 or more surveillance drives are often put into a chassis.

"We decided on Seagate as they offer drives with 1-terabyte capacity and meet our requirements of sustaining 1.2 million hours of mean time between failures. There is also better availability of Seagate drives in Bangkok, and they offer immediate exchange for failed drives," said Beeber.

The hard drive records two streams of video: one in real time at 25 fps at VGA resolution to be stored for three days; the other at 2 fps for 30 days. Footage from just one camera requires 32 gigabytes of storage a day. In total, more than 80 terabytes of storage is required, and there are plans to eventually purchase 100 of Seagate's Barracuda ES 1-terabyte drives.