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Delivering Scalable and Cost-effective Storage Solutions for Video Surveillance Recordings

Wasabi Technologies and Milestone Systems – Better Together

By Craig Ledo, IT Validation Analyst; Vinny Choinski, Senior Analyst
MARCH 2022


This ESG Technical Validation report documents the in-depth analysis of Wasabi Technologies with Milestone Systems. We evaluated how the Wasabi secure cloud storage solution with the Milestone Systems video management software provides improved storage efficiency, cost-effective video storage management, and improved compliance and governance.


Mainly due to increased data growth, the need for delivering more scalable and cost-effective video storage solutions for video surveillance recordings has become more strategic for many organizations. In addition, the economics of cloud storage have led to massive adoption. Nearly all ESG research survey respondents (95%) said their organization uses public cloud services, and 44% indicated that they have a cloud-first policy when it comes to deploying new applications. Also, momentum for digital transformation is accelerating further as organizations increasingly look to use new technologies, with improving operational efficiency remaining the top objective of digital transformation efforts, cited by more than half (52%) of respondents (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Operational Efficiency Most Common Digital Transformation Objective

What are your organization’s most important objectives for its digital transformation initiatives? (Percent of respondents, three responses accepted)

Source: ESG, a division of TechTarget, Inc.

As organizations continue to embrace digital transformation for both their business and IT groups, the use of public cloud infrastructure has become a key driver for that transformation and is a technology area in which 61% of ESG research respondents anticipate increased spending levels during 2022. Organizations are also using cloud infrastructure services and cloud storage to mitigate the capital and operational expenses associated with data storage infrastructures and traditional IT hardware deployments.

Wasabi Technologies Secure Cloud Storage and Milestone Systems Video Management Overview

Wasabi hot cloud storage and Milestone video management software provide a scalable surveillance and security solution at a low storage cost so businesses can address the increasing amount of data being recorded. As shown in Figure 2, Wasabi hot cloud storage offers Milestone customers a highly scalable repository for video management systems that supports high camera counts, megapixel resolutions, high frame rates, and long retention periods. The architecture is designed to provide high reliability and availability to meet the demands of video surveillance deployments.
Figure 2. Wasabi Technologies and Milestone Systems Solution Overview

Source: ESG, a division of TechTarget, Inc.

Key capabilities and features include:
• Predictable Video Storage Costs: Wasabi with Milestone provides affordable cloud storage for high quality video surveillance infrastructures, including high-definition and megapixel environments. There are no fees for egress or API requests, just a monthly bill for storage used.
• Safe and Secure: Wasabi is deployed in fully secure and redundant data centers that are certified for SOC-2 and ISO 27001 compliance. Wasabi also provides eleven nines (99.999999999%) of object durability, protecting data against disk failures and media errors.
• Encryption and Immutability: Wasabi encrypts data at rest and data in transit to prevent leakage and ensure privacy. In addition, Wasabi supports data immutability through “Bucket Lock,” which protects video against the most common causes of data loss and tampering, including accidental file deletions, viruses, and ransomware. It also meets regulatory and compliance data retention management requirements.
• Pay-as-you-grow: Wasabi offers a pay-as-you-grow solution, which enables lower capital expenditures for storage acquisition and costly maintenance, training, and hardware and software upgrades. Wasabi and Milestone provide the ability to start small and grow in a very efficient manner.
• Wasabi Account Control Manager: The Wasabi Account Control Manager includes a secure, easy-to-use, centralized management interface. Multiple storage accounts are securely managed in one place, including multi-factor authentication (MFA), enterprise single sign-on (SSO) options, and identity and access management (IAM) policies.

ESG Technical Validation

ESG performed a technical validation of the Wasabi hot cloud storage solution and its interoperability with Milestone Systems video management software, with a focus on improved storage efficiency, cost-effective video storage management, and improved compliance and governance.

Improved Storage Efficiency

Wasabi hot cloud storage offers Milestone Systems customers a highly scalable repository for video management systems that supports high camera counts, megapixel resolutions, high frame rates, and long retention periods. The architecture is designed to provide high reliability and availability to meet the demands of video surveillance deployments.
ESG validated the steps to integrate Wasabi hot cloud storage with Milestone Systems. The process is easy and starts with configuring Wasabi as an administrator. After creating a root account, an admin can set up account security using the account settings. Once an account is created, an access key and a secret are assigned, which become the keys for the root user. Additional access keys can be created for sub-users as well as business partners. Policies based on user credentials or on groups can be set to allow access to specific buckets, similar to what is done within AWS S3.
With access controls in place, a user can access Wasabi through the login process and create buckets, as shown in Figure 3. Setting up a bucket is an easy, three-step process that involves setting a name for the bucket, the region where data should be stored, and bucket policies. The bucket is then ready for integration with Milestone Systems.
Figure 3. Improved Storage Efficiency

Source: ESG, a division of TechTarget, Inc.

Within Milestone, it is a simple configuration. In the Administration panel, the user first needs to activate Storage Bridge, which is a plugin to the Milestone system. Then, they go to disaster recovery to set Wasabi as the off-site cloud storage target. The user is prompted to add the Wasabi Access Key and Secret Key. This initiates the API so the user can select a bucket to be the target location from the list of buckets available to them. Milestone can manage many buckets and folders in Wasabi and set appropriate retention and management policies. Wasabi acts as a real-time storage location. As recordings are being created, they move through the Milestone video servers, to the Storage Bridge and then to Wasabi as the backup and disaster recovery target. 99% of data is immediately available on Wasabi, leaving nearly no lag between a recording and when it is backed up, which is critical for active surveillance.

Cost-effective Video Storage Management

Wasabi hot cloud storage, combined with Milestone Systems, provides a surveillance and security solution with unlimited scalability at a disruptively low storage cost so organizations can address the rising volumes of data being recorded, along with real-time disaster recovery. As shown in Figure 4, Milestone Systems interconnects with Wasabi hot cloud storage in two primary ways: disaster recovery and extension.
Disaster Recovery – For disaster recovery, Wasabi is created as the target location for all video recording. This is an immediate copy transfer of each recording, which can come from an unlimited number of active cameras tied to video servers, which are then linked to the management and Storage Bridge. Within Wasabi, operators can manage storage buckets and folders in any way that is best for the organization. Wasabi provides a secure infrastructure with a high level of resiliency and options for data protection.
Extension – An additional function of Milestone Systems integrated with Wasabi hot cloud storage is the ability to reduce the cost of local storage for operators and utilize Wasabi for real-time storage. This process uses the data stored through the disaster recovery process to not duplicate data and keep the costs low. As shown in Figure 4, there are two configuration options, time-based and size-based.
• Time-based – With this option, through Storage Bridge policies, an administrator of Milestone Systems can determine at what point data is moved from being stored locally to being accessible in Wasabi hot cloud storage. For example, operators may keep data on their local servers for a few hours or a day. Beyond that time, if operators needed to view data, it would be coming direct from the off-site Wasabi hot cloud storage in real time.
• Size-based – This option allows an administrator to set the parameters to only keep a defined amount of video data local until it reaches a size threshold. For example, an admin might have 500GB of storage on a local server and may set this parameter at 400GB. Up to 400GB of the most recent video is kept local, with all older videos transparently accessible on Wasabi hot cloud storage.
Figure 4. Cost-effective Video Storage Management

Source: ESG, a division of TechTarget, Inc.

For operators of Milestone Systems, the use of extensions is transparent to the end-users who need to review video surveillance footage. Due to the speed and efficiency of Wasabi hot cloud storage, when users are reviewing footage, the data may be local or coming directly from Wasabi.
The combined solution of Wasabi hot cloud storage and Milestone Systems reduces costs for customers through lower-cost cloud storage with Wasabi and the ability, through Milestone Systems extensions, to control the cost of local storage for each video server. The cost of this higher-priced storage can, for larger organizations or campuses, be disqualifying. Wasabi is also unique compared to many other providers because they do not charge ingress or egress fees. This tends to be a hidden cost for many providers, making it extremely hard to measure and can be substantial in applications such as video surveillance, which requires live access.
Eliminating these costs also reduces risk. Many organizations rarely test their recovery capabilities, immutable storage, or ability to recover from a cyber-attack because the cost of moving their data is far too high. With Wasabi, these tests can be run more frequently and at no additional charge.

Why This Matters

While it’s true that digital video consumes a significant amount of capacity, it’s not so much the storage footprint that makes cloud storage use impractical for security and surveillance companies, but rather the egress fees charged to access stored recordings. With Wasabi hot cloud storage, there are no fees for egress or API requests. There is only one line item on your monthly bill for storage used.

Improved Compliance and Governance

Wasabi hot cloud storage, combined with Milestone Systems, provides improved compliance and governance of video surveillance recordings. Wasabi’s robust features to help manage and protect data are extended to Milestone Systems customers, giving them the ability to meet their regulatory and corporate governance requirements.
Some core Wasabi features include:
Access Management: Login security features include single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and identity and access management using the SAML 2.0 standard. MFA is highly recommended for all administrative accounts. If the backup or storage console is breached by a cyber-criminal, the attacker can change backup policies, alter backup jobs, or delete backups. Use of MFA can protect against unauthorized access to the storage console. Identity and access management works together with MFA as another layer of access controls and protection.
Encryption: All data stored in a Wasabi bucket is encrypted with AES 256 encryption. Data is encrypted at rest and in motion with integrity checks every 90 days.
Cybersecurity: Planning for cyber-attacks has become core to every IT organization. Wasabi has taken the steps necessary to protect an organization’s data from both external and internal threats, as well as unintentional actions, with features such as immutable storage and strong access controls. Wasabi uses the AWS IAM policy model as its standard and maintains strong compliance. This also has the added benefit of being a familiar protocol for many organizations.
Compliance Mode: As shown in Figure 5, Wasabi provides a robust set of compliance tools to protect stored data. At the highest level, it starts with the ability to enable a bucket in Compliance Mode. As shown on the right side of Figure 5, a user can enable any bucket into immutable storage, which cannot be altered or changed once it is set. In this example, ESG set the retention policy for the bucket to three years. From this time forward, all data in the bucket will be held for three years and then deleted at the end of its retention period.
Figure 5. Improved Compliance and Governance

Source: ESG, a division of TechTarget, Inc.

Legal Hold: As an additional compliance function, should an organization need to ensure that files are not removed at the end of their retention period due to an ongoing investigation, it can place files into a Legal Hold. Once this hold is released, the data will go back to the retention period set at the bucket level.
Bucket Logging: When logging is enabled, a text log file of all access to a bucket is created for the specified bucket.
Versioning: The versioning feature offers an additional level of protection by providing a means of recovery when customers accidentally overwrite or delete objects. This allows recovery from unintended user actions and application failures. Organizations can preserve, retrieve, and restore every version of every object stored in a Wasabi bucket. Once versioning is enabled for a bucket, Wasabi preserves existing objects any time a user performs a PUT, POST, COPY, or DELETE operation on them. By default, GET requests will retrieve the most recently written version.
Public Access Override: The default bucket policy prevents public use of a bucket, folder, or file. This helps to prevent public access and data leaks. Root account users can override the default policy if the bucket is intended for public access.

Why This Matters

An ESG research survey found that an astounding 18% of respondents reported that they deal with ransomware attacks on a daily basis, 24% reported weekly attacks, 13% reported monthly attacks, and 15% reported attacks on a more sporadic basis. These results emphasize the need for the immutable storage, encryption, and high-performance egress/download capabilities provided by Wasabi to protect data resources from cyber-criminals.

The Bigger Truth

ESG’s analysis of Wasabi hot cloud storage combined with Milestone Systems video surveillance software revealed a transformational outcome, which improves storage efficiency, reduces costs, and delivers simplified ease of use to operators with true data management, protection, and compliance. With high-definition video, the amount of storage required continues to increase, along with many requirements to store and protect video files for long periods of time.
Wasabi hot cloud storage offers a pay-as-you-grow solution to address small, medium, or large surveillance implementations. This reduces capital and operational costs and makes video storage costs predictable. One of the most cost-effective features of the solution is no ingress or egress costs. This is a critical factor for the video industry.
Wasabi Technologies and Milestone Systems have created a strong integration of their two solutions that makes it seamless for operators to reduce costs by controlling the amount of local storage needed and transparently enabling users to review video directly from Wasabi cloud storage in real time.
The combination of Wasabi hot cloud storage and Milestone Systems video management software is a true integrated partnership designed to deliver measurable results.

This ESG Technical Validation was commissioned by Wasabi Technologies and is distributed under license from TechTarget, Inc.

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The goal of ESG Validation reports is to educate IT professionals about information technology solutions for companies of all types and sizes. ESG Validation reports are not meant to replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Our objectives are to explore some of the more valuable features and functions of IT solutions, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems, and identify any areas needing improvement. The ESG Validation Team’s expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments.

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