Video Lifecycle Management

Video Lifecycle Management (VLM) is a video-aware subset of Information Lifecycle Management, providing a comprehensive approach to managing captured video and its associated metadata from creation and initial storage to the time when it becomes obsolete and is deleted. Unlike other approaches to video data management that just automate storage procedures, such as hierarchical storage management (HSM), VLM involves all aspects of dealing with video, starting with user practices. Also in contrast to other systems, which rely on video age as the sole criteria for video storage and retrieval, VLM manages metadata such as camera names, camera locations, and motion detection data (to name a few). This enables the utilization of more complex criteria for storage management and video retrieval.

VLM comprises automated solutions that facilitate multi-tier storage and dramatically increase storage capacity while lowering the cost of storing and retrieving video and its related metadata. VLM products utilize user defined policies to seamlessly move and manage video across all storage tiers to reduce the amount of disk space they require. VLM products streamline video management, improve performance for mission-critical systems, reduce the cost of storage, expand video storage capacity, and enable the user to easily and quickly search for and recover any needed video, even when it is stored off-line. Unlike ILM systems, VLM products are video aware and enable the user to playback stored video, even when it is stored off-line, and select only specific part of the video for export without having to retrieve the entire high-resolution original.

VLM products automate video management processes, typically organizing data into separate tiers according to specified policies and automating video migration from one tier to another based on the criteria defined in those polices. As a rule, newer videos and videos that may be accessed more frequently are stored on faster and more expensive storage media, while less critical videos are stored on cheaper and slower media. Ultimately, videos are stored offline on Blu-ray disk or digital computer tape.

The VLM approach recognizes that the importance of any video does not rely solely on its age. Users can specify different policies for videos that decline in value at different rates or that retain their value throughout their life span. By keeping track of where everything is in the storage life-cycle, a path management application (either as a component of VLM software or working in conjunction with it) makes it possible to retrieve any stored video.

Ideally, a VLM system preserves original, high-resolution videos without degrading quality or frame rate. This is critical as, by far, the largest application for VLM is in surveillance video storage, and videos that have been altered in any way are not admissible as evidence in a court of law.