Surveillance System and Security Camera System Storage: Hard Drive Guide

Compare Seagate surveillance hard drives for NVR Video Surveillance Systems, Wireless DVR Security Camera Systems, and Video Monitoring Systems (VMS).

Table of Contents:


A Comparison of Seagate® Hard Drives for Video Surveillance and Analytics

Your security can take many forms—receiving notifications when the kids arrive home from school, monitoring your business over a weekend or holiday closure, overseeing visitor activity at schools, and monitoring hospital traffic flow and patterns to prepare medical teams to react faster. There are many scenarios and possibilities. But no matter where you implement these security systems, storage is essential as data is captured and analyzed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Seagate offers storage to support a variety of systems; here we’ll focus on those drives which support video and analytics. The applications these drives support include surveillance DVRs (SDVR), network video recorders (NVR), and centralized or cloud surveillance for video data analytics.

Surveillance Hard Drive Options

Surveillance DVRs (SDVR)

Surveillance Digital Video Recorders, or SDVRs, are simple systems enabling significant cost and space savings when capacity and scalability are not top priorities. Single drive, supports up to 32 cameras.

Seagate® Surveillance HDD and SV35 Series™ drive

Network Video Recorders (NVRs)

NVRs support the use of up to 32 cameras in their multi-drive system to maximize space for networked video recordings.


Surveillance HDD and Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD

Centralized Storage for video analytics

The opportunity to analyze and make use of large amounts of video data is enormous. Cities can predict and improve traffic flows, and stores can lay out merchandise in more compelling ways with the support of 100+ cameras.

Surveillance HDD and Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD

To choose the right drive, take the time to learn your system requirements. How often will cameras be running and recording? How long do you need to keep your footage? Where will you be storing and streaming your data? How many drives does your system support? These questions will help you understand which Seagate drives will best support your system: Seagate Surveillance HDDs, Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDDs or SV35 Series™ drives.

It’s important to understand the workload of a security system first so you can determine the performance the system requires from the drive. Will the system be used for fast video analytics (the use of features like facial recognition programs), or will it more simply be used to record content and play it back only when an incident needs reviewing? If it is, then these factors are important to understand the level of performance you’ll expect from the drive. For example, surveillance systems often feature advances in intelligent video analytics and high-definition image recording. In order to manage the vast amounts of video and related metadata in an intelligent surveillance solution, a relational database or similar traditional data system is typically used. It is absolutely critical that reads and writes for such systems employ the utmost levels of performance and error detection and correction to ensure data integrity isn’t compromised.

Next consider what implications this workload will have on your system design. All surveillance applications expect support 24×7, but how does this affect your storage requirements. Applications that stream video to a central location may need higher capacities and throughput to accommodate their streaming activity, remote access and data replication. In fact, ever increasing file sizes in video surveillance are behind the insatiable hunger for greater storage capacity; such data can quickly fill even the most copious storage system. But sometimes sheer drive capacity is just part of the answer. Efficiently transferring these voluminous files demands drives with outstanding throughput, as well as robust error correction features to ensure data integrity is maintained during transmission. The SATA interface takes advantage of breakthroughs in very large scale integration (VLSI) technology and high-speed serial transceivers, enabling SATA drives to deliver an unprecedented blend of performance, flexibility, data integrity and reliability.

Government or retail applications usually require data be stored for a given amount of time versus a typical home security system, which is usually saved for about a month. This will help you understand what capacity requirements, streaming requirements and vibration tolerance will be required to support a system.

Finally, when you want extra assurance your data is protected, look into adding data recovery services before system deployment. Surveillance HDD models available with a Rescue Package include: ST4000VX002, ST5000VX0011, ST6000VX0011. These services can complement drive warranty terms to cover a drive crash, virus or failure to recover data should a drive become nonfunctional. Purchasing the service up front can potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Supplement your backups with recovery services to gain peace of mind and ensure you remain within compliance of industry regulations.

All are important considerations when choosing the right drive for your security systems and will affect the reliability and ultimately ROI of the system design. By knowing your system workload, the number of cameras that will be supported, storage requirements and drives required per system, you can choose the right drive for your surveillance environment.

SV35 Series HDD

Surveillance HDD

Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD

Form Factor/ Capacity1

3.5-inch: 1, 2, 3TB

3.5-inch: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6TB

3.5-inch: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6TB


Central monitoring applications typically using IP cameras for medium-sized businesses like banks, casinos or airports

Addresses the need for high-resolution cameras and camera counts, and ensures cost-effective performance and durability in always-on surveillance systems.

Bulk storage, data center, government or corporate applications where HD video and/or video analytics are valued


Reliable performance in multi-drive systems with quick time-to- ready

Tuned for high-write cycle workloads typical in video surveillance storage systems; high storage capacities support higher-resolution cameras and systems with high drive counts for reliable drive performance.

Fast random performance and time-to-ready in multi-drive applications

Data Recovery Services

Available 3-year option with +Rescue models

Available 3-year option with +Rescue models


Good: Idle 1, 2 support

Excellent: Idle 1, 2 and 3 support

Best: Power Choice™ technology for customized time-to-ready and power savings


210MB/s Max Sustained Data Rate

180MB/s Max Sustained Data Rate

175MB/s Max Sustained Data Rate

System Vibration Tolerance

1 to 6 drives

up to 16 drives

10+ drives

Data Security

ISE feature in SED or FIPS configurations2





Limited Warranty

3 years

3 years

5 years


© 2014 Seagate Technology LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC in the United States and/or other countries. PowerChoice and SV35 Series are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC or one of its affiliated companies in the United States and/or other countries. The FIPS logo is a certification mark of NIST, which does not imply product endorsement by NIST, the U.S., or Canadian governments. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. When referring to drive capacity, one gigabyte, or GB, equals one billion bytes and one terabyte, or TB, equals one trillion bytes. Your computer’s operating system may use a different standard of measurement and report a lower capacity. In addition, some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions, and thus will not be available for data storage. Actual data rates may vary depending on operating environment and other factors. The export or re-export of Seagate hardware or software is regulated bythe U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (for more information, visit, and may be controlled for export, import and use in other countries. MB641.3-1409US, September 2014