Security Industry Association (SIA) member Wasabi works to deliver simple, fast and affordable “hot” cloud storage. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and operates 13 storage regions globally across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
SIA spoke with Danny Collins, product marketing manager at Wasabi, about the company, the security industry and working with SIA.
Tell us the story of your company.
Danny Collins: Wasabi was co-founded by cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, who wanted to solve a huge problem in the IT industry: What if we could significantly reduce the cost of cloud data storage while at the same time making it faster and simpler?
Since 2017, Wasabi has been changing the cloud storage landscape with “hot cloud storage,” a disruptively simple, predictably priced cloud storage technology that is secure and high-performing. All data stored in Wasabi is considered “hot,” meaning it can be accessed immediately, with no fees for egress or API calls.
Wasabi’s sole focus is on cloud object storage, which allows us to be “masters of the art of storage” across a variety of industries, like video surveillance. Video surveillance, specifically, is a complex collection of constantly evolving technologies under pressure from new requirements, demands and expectations. With more cameras, higher resolutions and expanding demand for both longer retention periods and immediate access to data, traditional video surveillance storage technologies are meeting their limitations. Because of Wasabi’s singular focus on cloud storage, the company is well positioned to offer a “bottomless storage” for the industry – giving organizations the ability to store hours of security footage and offload video footage and maintain it in line with regulations and retention requirements.
What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings or your company unique?
DC: To address the growing problems associated with video storage, Wasabi introduced Wasabi Surveillance Cloud (WSC) in February 2023. A first-of-its-kind product offered from a cloud storage provider, Wasabi Surveillance Cloud enables organizations to offload video surveillance footage from the local storage environment directly to the cloud without running out of capacity. WSC is a bundled offering that includes a cloud bridge software application that automatically connects the video management system (VMS) to a Wasabi cloud object storage subscription to enable “bottomless” video storage. Once installed, WSC runs in the background, so there’s no change to existing systems or workflows. All video playback and search functionalities are still done through the user’s VMS management client. This “bottomless” approach to video storage is vital for the surveillance industry, which is struggling to manage enormous amounts of video in high resolution environments, increasingly large file sizes and stringent regulatory requirements that are increasing retention times.
What is something we might not know about your company – or something new you are doing in security?
DC: Wasabi provides an ecosystem of compatible Technology Alliance Partners, bringing a complete end-to-end solution to the customer. In the video surveillance space, we are proud to partner with leading companies like Milestone Systems, Hanwha Vision, Axis Communications, Digital Watchdog, Salient, Senstar, Identiv and more. In fact, users of every major VMS can offload infrequently accessed video from their on-site servers directly to Wasabi hot cloud storage. Wasabi also provides the back-end storage for a number of camera-direct-to-cloud surveillance vendors.
When we think of video surveillance, we inevitably think of security – that’s not surprising. However, when we think about security, there are many other use cases and industries we often don’t consider. Wasabi has working with specific verticals like health care, education and local government. One industry that’s been embracing cloud storage is the cannabis space. Due to strict state regulations, often requiring offsite storage of video with immediate access, cannabis operations face challenges specifically in storage compliance. As an extension of the existing storage system, Wasabi Surveillance Cloud has been helping integrators working in the space provide a compliant and cost-effective solution to their customers.
What is your company’s vision, and what are your goals for the security industry?
DC: Wasabi sees the video surveillance industry relying heavily on cloud storage in the very near future. Right now, due to the lack of native S3 API capabilities built into a VMS, Wasabi Surveillance Cloud is the ideal way to integrate with cloud storage; it provides customers with the easiest way to transition to the cloud while preserving their existing investment and the best, most predictable solution to support the exponential growth of their video data.
What are your predictions for the security industry in the short and long term?
DC: For many years, video surveillance was a niche industry, somewhat siloed from other technologies. Over time, video surveillance has become a more significant part of conversations with those outside of security, including IT, loss prevention, operations and even marketing. Today, surveillance solutions are often integrated with analytics capabilities, making video surveillance a critical piece of technology by providing business insights and improving operational efficiencies. Looking to the future, video surveillance opportunities are becoming part of every IT or security practitioner’s arsenal, and the opportunity for growth within the channel is virtually limitless.
Specifically with cloud storage, we view the transition from on-premises hardware to cloud storage as a very similar transition from analog cameras to IP video cameras. Initially there was hesitation from the industry to adopt, but the benefits from the technology could not be ignored, and now most of the market uses IP video cameras. We’ll see the same thing with the transition to offsite cloud storage.
What are the biggest challenges facing your company and/or others in the security industry?
DC: While the cloud is an ideal solution to help organizations affordably scale video storage capacity, not all cloud object storage is created equal. Right now, the biggest challenge Wasabi faces in the security industry is educating the space on the benefits of cloud storage, as well as bringing awareness to the right cloud storage solutions out there for video surveillance data. It’s important to remember that transitioning to the cloud is not a “zero sum game.” If you’re not ready to rip out and replace the system that you know and have used for years, Wasabi Surveillance Cloud is the perfect solution – it creates a seamless hybrid storage environment to maximize and preserve your current investment.
What does SIA offer that is most important to you/your company? And what do you most hope to get out of your membership with SIA?
DC: The SIA membership offers a robust platform that enables Wasabi with the tools to bring awareness to and educate those in the security space on the benefits and value of utilizing cloud storage. Wasabi was grateful for the opportunity to present our new solution to a panel of judges at ISC West, winning the Best in Video Surveillance Data Storage award. Being an IT company, with an involvement in video surveillance data storage, we really appreciate the ability to utilize the research and reports that SIA has to offer members on their platform.
How does your organization engage with SIA? What are your plans for involvement in the next year?
DC: At Wasabi, we will continue to leverage the research reports provided by SIA to gain better insight into the security industry and the trends forming for the future. Stay tuned for more content provided by Wasabi on the SIA platform, and don’t forget to visit us in 2024 at ISC West, one of our flagship events that we make sure to circle on the calendar every year.
The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association.