As a highly regulated industry, casinos are more familiar than most with the importance of video retention and mitigating data loss.

Because of this, surveillance solutions deployed have multiple layers of storage and redundancy measures. These include:

  • RAID 6 redundancy to safeguard data even in the event of multiple drive failures.
  • ‘Hot Swap’ failover recording/redundant power supply to guarantee continuous viewing and playback in case of a device or server malfunction or power supply issue.
  • Edge-based recording as a backup for critical zones.
  • Real-time primary server replication to physical or virtual alternatives should any primary server issue be detected.

Chances are, if you are a busy casino, you have at least one and probably a mixture of these common measures in operation as standard.

But this doesn’t mean all bases are covered. For example, one particular area can easily be overlooked concerning disaster preparedness and resilience. And it often is.

When was the last time you backed up your incident locker?

This critical hardware is often forgotten when considering redundancy, resilience and maintenance planning. The assumption is that it will always just ‘be there’ – a permanent, accessible receptacle for all video footage captured for incidents logged. Which is fine. Until it isn’t.

Catastrophic events can happen. Incident lockers can be susceptible to failure, especially as they age. And if they haven’t been backed up for a week, a month, a year, or worse still ever, there will be a lot of critical data that is vulnerable in the event of a failure. What’s more, recovering lost data is a particularly tricky process and can take a great deal of time.

How often should I be backing up my incident locker?

It depends. For example, we know many casino operators who carry out data exports from their incident locker twice a week, 52 weeks a year, and are happy with the level of protection that offers based on the level of evidentiary data they archive in that time period.

However, with today’s surveillance software and storage options, casinos can implement cost-effective, real-time backup solutions. In addition, a standard operating procedure using Workflows can be configured to check the automated backup.

Where should I back up my data?

Again, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Solutions can and should vary according to a site’s specific needs.

For instance, investing in a second incident locker which replicates the primary locker is an obvious suggestion. But the truth is that implementing a new backup protocol doesn’t necessarily mean investing in new hardware. For example, a casino with recently upgraded surveillance hardware may have spare legacy storage units that can be repurposed for incident locker replication.

Network-attached storage (NAS) solutions are commonly used for backup purposes and allow for greater location flexibility. This means that the backup storage can be located in a different area from the primary incident locker storage, mitigating the risk of physical damage, e.g. fire or flooding.

Casino operators considering cloud-based surveillance should incorporate dedicated incident locker replication as part of their solution, avoiding the need for additional physical infrastructure.

There will be an ideal solution for each casino based on architecture, regulations and operational preference. It is simply a matter of understanding the pros and cons of the available options and looking at specific circumstances – and that’s something we can certainly help with. But the key to avoiding potential disaster is to ensure that incident locker backup is part of the planning process and not a system feature relegated to ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Because that’s just tempting fate.