CAMPBELL, CA – March 13, 2018 DIGISTOR today announced the release of color identifiable VaultDisk® drives, making the interchangeable solid state storage solution even more useful to companies and organizations hosting a variety of security levels and networks. This subtle yet critically important choice aims to make protected networks even more secure and give employees who use and maintain them a swifter way of distinguishing the drives. Read More…
CAMPBELL, CA – February 20, 2018 – DIGISTOR, the leader in secure data and storage solutions, is pleased to announce that as of January 2, 2018, Chris Persaud has joined the team as Director of Business Development. With a solid background in technology, sales, and defense, Persaud will focus on continuing to bring DIGISTOR’s enterprise level removable storage solution, VaultDisk®, to the federal space. Read More…
CAMPBELL, CA – February 14, 2018 – DIGISTOR, the leader in secure data and storage solutions, is pleased to announce the release of VaultDisk®, a removable solid state SATA drive compatible with the 2.5” industry standard in a smaller, sleeker form factor. This removable, bootable storage solution was designed specifically for the federal space and can be utilized in a variety of Dell workstations and laptop systems. For administrators required to switch in and out of multiple networks and security clearance levels, VaultDisk® provides a game changing solution. Read More…
In the professional data security and storage industry, there are few institutions where the stakes are higher than with the federal government. When a branch was recently in need of a removable data solution for a new mobile workstation platform, they consulted with DIGISTOR.
The application was specified as follows: they required a device that was extremely powerful, yet mobile and flexible enough to allow for a multi-threaded application to perform optimally across multiple networks with varying security levels.
An industry standard for many data professionals, the Dell Precision 7520 is a powerful mobile workstation—but even the 7520 has its limits. While these workstations perform at a very high level, accessing the onboard SSD was time consuming. Removing and transporting the drives was causing mechanical failures in the field.
In addition, the client needed these devices to easily swap in and out of multiple operating systems, security levels, and networks. As administrators transferred between secure and unsecured networks, training networks, operating networks and other environments, a fast, secure and flexible need became clear.
The optimal solution would have to be an easily accessible, powerful, and secure SSD that was removable and interchangeable in seconds, and could plug in and adapt to a range different devices and networks.
DIGISTOR partnered exclusively with Dell to create a new solution, the type of which the market has very rarely seen. Our VaultDisk® Removable SSD could be installed into Dell’s existing mobile line of Precision Workstation Laptops. VaultDisk® Secure Removable SSD easily and safely ejects from the DIGISTOR patented entry system.
One of the virtues of this client using the VaultDisk Removable SSD is that it allows for multiple users, operating systems, and security levels to utilize a single platform. A product with this level of power, security and flexibility didn’t previously exist.
Another benefit is that the system is incredibly easy to use, saving the user space, money and time. This solution enables the entire hard drive to be removed with the same ease and convenience as an older generation might have interchanged floppy disks. The VaultDisk system also creates efficiency between multiple users logging into workstations.
Just how fast is the VaultDisk® Removable boot drive SSD solution? Watch below for a comparison.
The DIGISTOR team seamlessly integrated VaultDisk® across the Dell Precision Mobile Workstation line, giving the client a mobile, secure and conveniently removable solution.
DIGISTOR has released VaultDisk drives in a variety of network ID color schemes to allow for easy detection and use across multiple networks.
Succeeding in their mission to find a new and innovative solution, the Director of Application Deployment at this branch of the federal government later confessed, “Deploying VaultDisk Removable SSD into our workflow saved thousands of man hours and allowed us to achieve compliance with NSA HDD sanitation requirements. The Network ID function specifically gives us the freedom to deploy valuable training required for our applications.”
Dell is now marketing this new breed of solution on an OEM basis and is winning designs across the Fed Sector.
Police Departments Around the World Wrestle with Body Camera Implementation. With police groups, city officials, and civilian rights advocates calling for more transparency in all police matters, the utility of body cameras cannot be understated. A 2014 review showed that early guilty pleas were obtained in 91% of cases where body camera footage formed part of the evidence. Officers in England interviewed after a body camera pilot program last year reported that having cameras on hand helped to de-escalate dangerous situations involving aggressive suspects.
Departments around the world are now initiating body camera programs and drafting policies in an attempt to integrate cameras into their daily patrols, arrests, and drug searches. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently pledged to have all 23,000 of the city’s patrol officers wearing cameras by 2019.
The trend is clear—departments are headed for full implementation. But as one might suspect with an emerging technology, there have been some growing pains around this step into the next generation of police work.
Time and Money
Two of the largest hurdles faced by departments in adopting body worn cameras are the cost of acquiring the cameras and the time needed to deal with the digital footage. Creating a proper framework and infrastructure to handle the data surge could mean bringing on more staff, or at the very least, creating new workflows to deal with the new data set. Therein is the issue.
Many police departments are overtaxed as it is, with district attorneys working long overtime hours. One police department in Benton County, Oregon estimated if they fully adopted body cameras on all their officers, they would then be forced to screen and log over 144 hours of video footage per week. That type of need would require more man power and more money—two resources already in scarce supply.
“If we have people working beyond full-time and we’re expected to take on hours and hours of digital work,” says District Attorney John Haroldson, a Benton County, Oregon law enforcement official, “we would have to cut back proportionately the time we’re spending on our current caseloads.”
Police in Burbank, California echo this concern, adding that the cost of implementing the cameras is difficult to swallow in an era when many departments are habitually underfunded. Lt. Jay Hawver recently told the LA Times that it made no sense to request the roughly $570,000 to purchase the cameras for their precinct.
“There is no identifiable need for the cameras, zero public demand for them, and no substantive justification for this expense has ever been articulated,” he said.
Lt. Hawver may be in the minority though. Benton County Sheriff Scott Jackson recently commented that there is indeed a public outcry for body cameras, and that they serve a real purpose for more effective policing.
“As sheriff I’m really looking forward to the day my deputies are wearing body cams,” Jackson said. “It helps build transparency and answers the community concerns. I think they’re a great thing and I think the evidentiary value is great.”
The reliability of body worn cameras is another issue that has popped up in pilot testing programs around the globe. Police officers in London’s Scotland Yard were recently called out for using unreliable technology in their initial phase of body camera tests. Some of the devices failed, with officers calling the data captured unusable. Earlier this year, in Texas, the Houston Police Department suspended its body camera testing program after having issues with its WatchGuard cameras.
In London, an investigation into the data failures found that the issues didn’t actually have to do with the cameras themselves, but rather with the logging in and out of the cameras from the department’s system. Downloading and storing the camera’s saved footage was an issue because the antiquated computer system Scotland Yard was using resulting in data losses.
While the cost of cameras is an issue that police departments and city councils around the world will have to budget for, we here at DIGISTOR know that there are solutions to data reliability so long as the right procedures are implemented. DIGISTOR offers a portfolio of solutions for reliable law enforcement data storage, including Flash-based storage for body cameras and in-car video devices.
As police departments around the world strive to implement body cameras, you can be sure that DIGISTOR will be here to find solutions that will work for them over the long term. For more information about our suite of police storage devices, visit our product page, or reach out to a DIGISTOR sales representative today.
With body camera footage becoming more and more important to cases drawing widespread national attention, police departments in California are proactively drafting policies to prepare for what they feel is an inevitable mandate – that all officers use and wear the body cameras. Most civilian and police groups agree the devices build transparency and answer the community concerns—but there are still hurdles to adopting the technology.
In Southern California, Los Angeles and Burbank police departments have begun talks with civilian oversight organizations to ensure officers use body cameras with the best possible practices.
“Our goal is to draft a policy that will be the industry standard for other organizations to come to us to have that best policy,” said Deputy Chief Mike Albanese from the Burbank Police Commission.
Though the time frame for when officers will actually begin wearing the cameras is unknown, the public assumption is that it is will happen soon.
“Everyone knows it’s coming,” Albanese said. “Whether it’s going to be mandated legislatively or from an officer-safety component, risk management component… It’s going to happen.”
The biggest obstacle to the body cameras being implemented is the cost involved and the reliability of the storage technology. Burbank looked at buying cameras in 2015 and found the price tag–$570,000—was a bit steep for council members to approve.
While the cost is an issue that police departments and city councils across the nation will have to contend with, we here at DIGISTOR know that data reliability will not be an issue so long as our practices and technologies are employed. DIGISTOR offers a portfolio of solutions for reliable law enforcement data storage, including Flash-based storage for body cameras and in-car video devices.
For more information about our suite of police storage devices, visit our product page now, or reach out to a DIGISTOR representative today.
Those who have kept an eye on the SSD market over the past 12 months will have noticed a rise in prices due to NAND flash shortages. NAND flash memory is the technology behind power-efficient, solid state drives (SSDs) and other storage memory found in personal computers and mobile devices.
This shortage is impacting those of us in the electronics industry in a variety of ways. Not only are prices rising, but more companies are now trying to fill the void by producing more SSD, while others are hard at work to create alternatives.
The shortage we are experiencing is due to several factors, including:
- A difficult transition from 2D to denser 3D technology on the manufacturing side
- Continued high demand for flash for use in smartphones, in particular, the increased storage offered by iPhone 7s
- Heightened demand from manufacturers desiring flash storage for datacenter hardware
- Sustained demand for PCs and notebooks, with average flash adoption in notebooks expected to exceed 30%
- Troubles on the manufacturing side by the two of the largest producers
That final point merits a few more words. One of the largest factors that is undoubtedly contributing to the NAND shortage is Toshiba’s current financial troubles. The second largest supplier of flash memory in the global market and first company to begin producing NAND flash memory, Toshiba has struggled with the production of 3D NAND memory. Toshiba’s troubles are not, however, completely on the manufacturing side. The electronics giant recently acquired a company to build nuclear power plants in the United States—a woeful project that has resulted in accounting scandals, legal actions, and billions of dollars in debt. The upshot: Toshiba is now selling off its semiconductor/NAND memory division. We assume that bidders will include Micron Technology, SK Hynix, Broadcom Ltd, and Western Digital.
Another, more highly publicized issue has to do with the largest supplier of flash memory in the global market: Samsung. The recall of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphones a few months ago have been a factor in the global scarcity, as scores of devices had to be returned and replaced in the market. Along with each of those returned devices was a flash memory unit taken off the market (at least temporarily).
The net effect of this shortage is that prices have increased to PC manufacturers. As SSD performance is now reaching mainstream consumer awareness, including these drives in personal laptops is becoming more and more expected. Nevertheless, SSDs are not usually within the same capacity that most standard hard disk drives (HDD) are sold with. Laptops sold with SSDs are typically in the range of 128 to 256 GB, while a laptop with an HDD is commonly much higher–anywhere between 500GB to 1 TB. But the price differential tends to be quite significant. That will likely remain consistent while scarcity exists.
Nevertheless, some manufacturers are optimistic. Samsung is now expected to begin operating a new plant in Pyeongtaek in July to further expand its 3D NAND production capacity. Micron will start producing 64-layer 3D NAND chips in the second quarter, with mass shipments becoming ready for the second half of the year. The company promises “meaningful output” by the end of their fiscal year in December.
We won’t hold our breath, but while manufacturers continue to scramble, and alternative storage technologies emerge, we’ll keep you updated. Keep your eye on this blog for further developments.
DIGISTOR was approached by a large, successful manufacturer of body worn camera equipment in 2013 concerning the launch of a new camera targeting the law enforcement community.
The camera had a beautiful industrial design, and was loaded with several new features including very high resolution video.
The software developed integrated seamlessly with a full chain of custody solution, ensuring that the digital evidence would be admissible in a court of law.
But, there was one problem. The microSD card originally selected for the camera continually became corrupted, thus losing valuable evidence and making this new body camera all but useless.
Although hundreds of thousands of dollars had been invested in the camera’s hardware and software development, very little investigation was done into the data storage solution the video would ultimately be written too.
The manufacturer turned to DIGISTOR for help.
DIGISTOR worked with the manufacturer’s engineering team to understand the full picture, and identified two critical application requirements:
- Speed. The customer had a critical high speed write requirement that the SD card had to achieve under all circumstances.
- Reliability. It was crucial that not only the video was protected from corruption, but that the manufacturer’s customers could have a firm understanding of the life expectancy of each card.
Early on in the design process, the manufacturer focused heavily on speed as the number one requirement.
Working closely with the DIGISTOR firmware engineers, the manufacturer was able to achieve the performance needed for video capture of high resolution video.
Moving on to the reliability requirements, the engineers quickly realized the two bigger issues were the lack of consistency on longevity of the microSD cards, and an unacceptable failure rate.
The DIGISTOR engineer’s test results showed that corrupted tables were locking up the SD cards and not allowing for data recovery of potentially crucial video evidence. The engineers took the following approach to support the manufacture’s identification of the best microSD card solution:
- DIGISTOR provided an application analysis card which the manufacturer ran in a real life application scenario for a 2-week period.
- DIGISTOR analyzed the data captured to determine how the application was accessing the SD cards, which also showed the write/erase counts.
- The data analysis also showed incompatible access patterns within the customer software which could be altered to help overall reliability.
- DIGISTOR was able to perform a Failure Analysis (FA) on the failing cards that showed how the manufacturer’s application was writing to the SD card and where the issues were occurring.
By having a full understanding of how the video application accessed the SD card and also how the software was over-stressing memory cells due to unevenness of the write/erase cycles caused by incompatible access patterns in the application itself, the DIGISTOR engineering team found that the standard wear-leveling algorithm was not activating properly and causing corruption within the SD card.
DIGISTOR was able to modify standard firmware to meet the requirement of the video application.
DIGISTOR recommended the manufacturer make changes to the software, which improved the overall performance of the SD card and BWC application.The manufacturer was able to achieve both the performance and reliability needed for a successful new camera launch.
Today, the manufacturer continues to grow share in the body worn camera market and achieve a solid ROI on their secure data platform.
DIGISTOR partnered with a leading video system storage integrator to develop a solid state drive designed for the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, capable of capturing 4K uncompressed raw video.
While there was multiple Blackmagic camera compatible SSD’s currently on the market, many of these off the shelf solutions did not provide the performance and reliability required by video professionals. In particular, there were major issues with dropped frames and durability of the SSD when deployed in the field.
DIGISTOR completed a comprehensive analysis of the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras usage of SSD storage media. The approach was to have a better understanding of the actual data access patterns.
Very quickly, DIGISTOR was able to identify critical requirements that needed to be addressed in order to develop an SSD solution that would successfully meet the storage media needs of Blackmagic Cinema Camera customers.
- Speed. It was critical that the SSD be able to handle a consistently high speed data throughput under any circumstance.
- Reliability. The problem of dropped frames was prevalent and unacceptable.
- Durability. A form factor design that nested firmly inside Blackmagic Cameras.
- Locked Firmware. Firmware changes without advance notice were causing drives to fail in the field.
DIGISTOR worked for months on a variety of configurations. Once they had a solid working platform they focused on optimizing the firmware for this specific application with the goal to create the most reliable SSD for video capture on the market.
DIGISTOR engineering enabled their integration partner to consistently achieve sustained high speed throughput, allowing for reliable and consistent results.
DIGISTOR has become a leading supplier of SSD drives into the Professional Video market.
DIGISTOR has shipped thousands of drives into many markets supporting professional video cameras through our integration partner including:
2014 World Cup Events
Churches throughout USA and South America
Broadcasting companies deployed throughout EU
The NAND flash supply shortage that has endured this year is expected to continue throughout the fourth quarter, and all signs point to ongoing supply issues well into 2017.
According to TrendForce, strong smartphone demand is the main reason for the NAND flash shortage. However, higher than anticipated SSD adoption rates in the industrial, enterprise, and consumer markets have also contributed to the severe shortages. We have already seen factory lead times increase nearly two-fold over the past few months, and price increases affecting certain SSD product lines are not far behind.