China Merchants Bank, Making the Switch to a More Robust Surveillance Storage Solution

China Merchants Bank:  Making the Switch to a More Robust Surveillance Storage Solution

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Seagate Case Study: China Merchants Bank

China Merchants Bank knows very well that conventional PC-based hard disk drives (HDDs) are not engineered for the rigorous demands of bank surveillance storage, which operates 24×7, and requires dependable availability and support from the storage solution provider.

China Merchants Bank began leveraging surveillance digital video recorder (SVDR) solutions to monitor bank operations and service-quality levels when its conventional PC-based HDDs began to lose important video data. The bank specifically turned to Seagate surveillance storage solutions and quickly regained its video surveillance capability and data dependability with the latest Surveillance HDD (formerly SV35 Series) drives.

China Merchants Bank Expands Globally
Founded in 1987 with its head office in Shenzhen, China Merchants Bank has gone from a strong regional bank first located in Shekou, Shenzhen, to having established branches in more than 30 major cities in China, including Hong Kong, with over 500 business networks throughout Asia.

With assets of over US$327 billion, the bank places 60th among the world’s Top 1000 banks according to the influential British financial journal, The Banker.1

In fact, China Merchants Bank has consistently climbed the list, moving up 100 places over the past five years, and is broadly recognized as an innovative banking institution that offers the highest levels of service.

This has been accomplished by enacting service reforms and implementing cutting-edge technology upgrades throughout its operations. More specifically, China Merchants Bank has embarked on a nationwide surveillance deployment throughout all its branches. This deployment seeks to monitor service quality and key banking operations using various SDVR applications.

PC-Based HDD Storage Issues Emerge
However, it was not long before performance issues interfered with China Merchants Bank’s service improvement plans.

Cao Jinsheng, from China Merchants Bank’s surveillance security division, pointed out that the issues stemmed from the mismatch of PC-based HDDs to SDVR applications. “When we first deployed our SDVR systems, our various vendors used PC-based HDDs, as there was no surveillance-specific storage solution back then. Little did we know that this would cause such issues for us down the line,” says Cao.

Systemic analysis revealed that partial HDD failure caused the missing footage. While these drives performed adequately in the beginning, they were ultimately not optimized for SDVR operations. Over time, the rigors of round-the-clock usage in the SDVR systems introduced excessive stress on the PC-based HDDs: managing higher power consumption and heat output while maintaining optimal availability and performance on a 24×7 basis. This led to lowered data integrity in affected disk sectors, resulting in data loss and drive failures.

To compound the issue, China Merchants Bank had engaged numerous surveillance solution vendors who used different brands of HDDs, resulting in vast differences in HDD reliability across different branches and leaving the bank with few means to determine which PC-based HDD would break down next.

Surveillance HDD—The Surveillance Storage Solution of Choice
China Merchants Bank knew it had to act fast. The bank decided to consolidate all its future storage solutions acquisitions under one HDD brand for quality control and simpler inventory. This was achieved through centralized acquisitions by its head office.

China Merchants Bank also decided to switch to newly available surveillance-based storage solutions to boost the reliability of its SDVR systems.

With these decisions made, one question remained: which HDD would best suit the needs of China Merchants Bank? The answer— Surveillance HDD from Seagate.

According to Cao, China Merchants Bank did not take long to decide on the Seagate surveillance storage offering, “Technically, the Surveillance HDD was a natural choice for us in the wake of our issues with non-surveillance optimized HDDs ... Seagate not only provides good service and greater cost-efficiency for us, but also ensures the quality of its HDDs through better storage and delivery facilities.”

Surveillance HDDDrives Deployment Benefits
China Merchants Bank wasted no time in pushing for the rapid adoption of the Seagate drives in both new and existing SDVR applications throughout all its branches.

With Seagate Surveillance HDDs, China Merchants Bank achieved lowered investment costs, in addition to greater SDVR storage.

“Through the purchase contract with Seagate channel partners, China Merchants Bank bypasses third-party middleman costs, making it more convenient and cost-efficient for our branches to deploy the Surveillance HDDs throughout our SDVR systems,” says Cao.

“In doing so, the China Merchants Bank further enjoys greater return on our IT investment through enhanced surveillance data integrity and reliability,” he adds.

For China Merchants Bank, the road to surveillance success was fraught with one major pitfall—using hard drives designed for desktop PCs rather than surveillance-optimized drives.

By deploying Surveillance HDD storage solutions, China Merchants Bank has overcome the limitations of non-surveillance-optimized HDDs, boosting the reliability of its SDVR systems and improving the data integrity of its surveillance footage.

In the process, China Merchants Bank has set an important precedent in China. It is one of the first companies of its size to uniformly deploy a single HDD model throughout every branch solely for surveillance applications. This marks a significant paradigm shift toward surveillance-optimized HDDs, not only in the financial industry, but also in the corporate sector as a whole.

With the Surveillance HDD storage solutions, China Merchants Bank not only enjoys great increase in surveillance storage reliability, but also lower total cost of ownership through price efficiencies.”
—Cao Jinsheng, China Merchants Bank

1 and The Banker (

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