How to Efficiently Manage Event Storage with EL4 Web

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Estimates indicate that less than 3% of captured video evidence is ever requested for review, and usually within the first 90 days of the record date. Without an active evidence management plan, an agency could be holding 97% of its inactive video evidence on its most expensive storage devices.

WatchGuard’s automated multi-tier storage capability within Evidence Library 4 Web (EL4 Web) intelligently migrates stored events to the most efficient storage location based on cost, policy and use.

The system provides efficiency by automating the movement of stored events between storage tiers, and automating the purging of stored events based on event category retention rules.

Automated multi-tier storage uses the following capabilities within EL4 Web:

  • Storage tiers
  • Automated movement of stored events
  • Category-based retention rules
  • Scheduled clean-up

Did You Know? An estimated 97% of stored video evidence may never be requested for review.

Storage Tiers

Tiers allow you to design your agency’s evidence storage program using multiple drives of varying price and performance. You set up each tier to take advantage of the different types of storage you have available to your agency, for example, SSD (solid-state drive), HDD (hard disk drive), and cloud (Microsoft Azure Government). Storage tiers can contain one or more storage types and locations.

Rollover and Round-Robin Storage Usage

Evidence Management in EL4 Web supports both the rollover and round-robin methods of storage usage.

With rollover, the system uses one storage location at a time. When the first location reaches the allocated storage limit, EL4 Web begins using the second storage location within the tier. The system rolls over from one storage location to the next in the order the locations are listed within the tier.

With round-robin, the system spreads its usage across all storage locations within a tier, one event at a time. The system moves from one storage location to the next, event by event, in the order that the locations are listed within the tier.

The rollover or round-robin attribute is assigned at the tier level. Any tier can be assigned either method. All the locations within the tier participate in that method.

Evidence Management Locations in EL4 Web.
Storage locations are managed from the EL4 Manage Storage Locations tab.

Automated Movement of Stored Events

When configuring tiers, you tell the system when stored events should be moved from one tier to the next. You can enter any number of days or years (up to a limit of 99 years) for which the event should remain in the current tier. Events stay in the tier for the determined time, unless they are archived or purged according to retention rules.

In addition to automating the scheduled cleanup of stored events, automating movement of events between tiers produces the greatest storage cost savings.

Quick Tip! Automating movement of events between tiers produces the greatest storage cost savings.

Category-Based Retention Rules

Retention Rules inform the system when to clean up (archive or purge) event data. These rules correspond to the category event tags on the recording device (4RE in-car system, VISTA body-worn camera). The rules determine action parameters: How long to keep an event available online, whether an event should be archived and for how long, whether and when it should be purged.

Once you set up the retention rules, the event category tag that an officer applies to a recorded event controls which rule the system applies to the event.

Evidence Management and Retention Rules tab.
Retention rules are managed from the EL4 Retention Rules tab.

Scheduled Cleanup

EL4 Web cleans up the event data in your agency’s evidence storage locations according to retention rules you set up. You can schedule data cleanup to run automatically, or you can run it manually, as needed. The retention rules determine when the system archives or purges event data. These rules correspond to category event tags in the recording devices (4RE in-car system, VISTA body-worn camera).

The cleanup scheduling tab determines whether the process runs its data cleanup operation automatically on a schedule or manually per user request. The operation can be scheduled daily, weekly or monthly.

Quick Tip! You can schedule data cleanup to run automatically, or you can run it manually, as needed.

Evidence Management and Cleanup Schedule in EL4 Web.
Cleanup scheduling can be managed from the EL4 Cleanup Scheduling tab.

Practical Application

First Tier: SSD, On-Premise, RAID 5 or RAID 10

This first-tier functions as the processing tier only. This setup allows EL4 Web to do its most intensive event processing (transcoding) on a high-speed, high-performance drive, then move the events as soon as processing is finished onto another drive (for example, HDD) for storage.

Second Tier: HDD, On-Premise, RAID 5, RAID 6, or RAID 10

Events move to the second tier as soon as they have finished processing on the first tier. They remain in the second-tier storage for a configurable amount of time, for example, 90 days.

Third Tier: Cloud

Events move to the cloud from the second tier and remain online and fully accessible until retention rules dictate their scheduled clean-up. Learn more about WatchGuard Cloud-Share.

Evidence Management and EL4 Web

Event storage not actively managed through automation needlessly costs agencies money. WatchGuard’s Automated Multi-Tier Storage within EL 4 Web provides agencies with the necessary tools to efficiently manage event storage cost and performance aligned to the way they work (event categories tied to retention policies), within the environment they work (evidence management software).

Contact us to learn more about evidence management and EL4 Web.