Lead Forensics

Is reducing your TCO sustainable?

How does the TCO affect the sustainability of your hardware solution

Is Reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Sustainable? 

When looking at a implementing a new electronic security system there are many factors to think about but once you have decided on your operational requirement many decisions fall down to finances, in particular two questions 

How much is the system going to cost me to install  i.e. Capital Expenditure or CAPEX

How much is the system going to cost me to run  i.e. Operational Expenditure or OPEX

At Secure Logiq we specialise in optimising the hardware solution for the application with the aim of minimising any hardware requirements often taking into account any future expansion plans.

Due to our vast industry knowledge combined with having the industry’s highest throughput and highest storage density servers we can often supply solutions that use less physical hardware, than our IT Centric competition, which will often have a lower CAPEX and OPEX by utilising less Rack space, cooling, power and indeed non-renewable RAW materials. The illustration below specifically looks at the OPEX savings (CAPEX savings were about 30%).

Project requirements for this 800no. 1080P camera solution were entered into the VMS manufacturers storage calculator which recommended 13 of their 2U storage servers and a separate 1U Access Control server.

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With the Secure Logiq solution we consolidated the design into 4 high powered processing servers, each running multiple instances of the VMS utilising our Logiqal Core software, and a super high density SAN solution offering the same total storage amount but in a significantly smaller physical footprint, in total 13U of rack space vs 28U for the IT Centric solution.

Solution using VMS Suggested Hardware

Due to their multipurpose design and generic non-optimised nature most IT Centric servers have limited processing cap of which can often be more of a limiting factor than the on-board storage which typically does not exceed 160TB in RAID5. The below shows the total amount of power, cooling and rack space required for the IT Centric solution. 

Figure 2 – IT Centric Hardware

The below table shows the OPEX cost to operate this solution per day, year and over the 5-year warranty period of the solution. 

Figure 3 – IT Centric Power Costs

Solution using VMS Suggested Hardware

By utilising best in class components tested together and optimised for IP surveillance applications Secure Logic have created a range of servers which at the top end can handle 4000Mbps throughput and an array of high-density storage solutions to fit the application. Because they are often running well under peak processing power and feature advanced RAID arrays to spread the load average power is significantly lower than the peak power requirements. Additionally, each unit will replace multiple units available from other suppliers offering significant power savings. The units in the calculations below feature 2000 Mbps throughput and a 1.8 Petabyte SAN solution

Figure 4 – Secure Logiq Hardware

Looking at the statistics in the chart above, Figure 4 – Secure Logiq Hardware, you will see that the total average power requirement for the Secure Logiq solution was about half of the power requirement for the IT Centric solution which also translates into half of the cooling requirement and don’t forget it’s only half of the rack space. 

Figure 5 – Secure Logiq Power Costs

When comparing the above chart, Figure 5 – Secure Logiq Power Costs, simply powering and cooling the server solution delivers over £58,000 of savings over the 5 year warranty period of the equipment.

Non-Renewable Raw Materials

Known economically workable Aluminium deposits will be exhausted in 2139 and Iron (steel) in just 2087 (1). Both elements are extracted in power hungry, environmentally dirty practices so minimising the metal we use in an installation will have a significant impact in the future of the planet.  Below we compare the metal usage of both solutions. We will simply compare the chassis and racking as the other significant metal use, the hard drives will be roughly the same in each solution. For the following calculations and for simplicity I have assumed that a 1U chassis contains about 10Kg metal, a 2U will contain 20Kg and a 5U about 49Kg and that a rack is roughly 1Kg per 1U. Average power cost to make 1Kg of Aluminium or Steel is 16kWh (2).

Transportation Cost and Environmental Impact

As the heaviest component of most IP CCTV systems the size and weight of a storage solution has a significant environmental impact.  Many IT Centric servers have been the whole way around the world simply to undergo a rebranding process.. As well as the additional cost for transporting heavy and bulky equipment the CO2 emissions from transportation vary considerably as you can see in the table below (3). Remember that using less equipment to do the same job also reduces the overall amount of packaging that will be required to protect the equipment in transit.

Other Factors to Consider

  • Reducing site visits; choose a supplier who’s first port of call is to try to fix a server remotely using ‘out of band management’ functionality to diagnose faults and rectify them remotely. As well as minimising downtime in a mission critical installation Secure Logiq’s Healthcheck utility and multiple layers of resilience will also save fuel burning engineering visits or fast turnaround return to base fixes. Logiqal Healthcheck provides real time system monitoring to alert a user if any component is experiencing issues. Redundant power supplies and multiple layers of disk resilience all in hot swap format means that replacement parts can simply be sent in the post for simple replacement by the end user saving valuable time, money and most importantly non-renewable energy resources!!!
  • Reducing hardware requirements reduces the overall Network infrastructure and cabling requirements thus reducing the CAPEX and OPEX costs of these parts of the system also. 
  • Accounting for future expansion of the system in the initial design can save adding unnecessary additional server hardware in the future.
  • Enterprise components are designed to be run 24/7 and to last a minimum of 5 years. Installing in a suitable environment and a regular maintenance routine can save costly and fuel burning site visits and prolong the life of the equipment. Choose products with a long warranty as clearly, they have been designed for durability. 
  • Modern components are generally more powerful and power efficient. Upgrading the existing IT hardware in an older system may yield immediate power and rack space benefits. Often upgrading the processing and storage element of a system can also allow system improvements on the remainder of the system like increased frame rates or reduced compression.
  • In 2021, human beings discarded an approximate 63.3 million tons of electronic waste, this amount of waste outweighs the Great Wall of China, the world’s heaviest human construction. Choose suppliers who offer to recycle end of life equipment and harvest components for valuable commodities. As an example, Seagate will offer to buy back your end-of-life HDDs and rrecertify & extend the useful life of these drives by giving them a 2nd life. Failed drives that cannot receive a 2nd life are sent to a certified scrap vendor to recover precious material and metals. Secure Logiq also offer an upgrade buyback scheme, where we will provide a credit against the upgrade quotation for all pieces of hardware being removed from site. These items will be given a 2nd life where possible, if not usable they will be recycled to the best of our ability. 

Other Environmental Considerations when Selecting your Security System

Depending on your region, it is estimated that 60-80% of the power consumption of a CCTV system is from the camera estate 

Advanced camera compression algorithms such as Axis Zipstream technology can significantly reduce the bandwidth coming from each camera, reducing further the total power and storage requirement of the servers used in the system.

Consider using higher resolution cameras to cover large areas rather than power hungry Pan, Tilt Zoom cameras, multi-sensor cameras can also reduce both cabling and power requirements and the overall number of cameras.

Does your site need to be lit at night? Cameras with integrated LEDs are also power hungry but often less expensive than lighting your entire perimeter, alternatively consider paying a little more for a low light camera such as the Axis Lightfinder range which can deliver crystal clear images without LED assistance and with very little ambient light. If you are only looking to detect intruders, Axis Thermal cameras can detect a person in pitch black.

Consider using motion detection in areas that have little ambient movement to reduce the overall storage requirement which will have a knock-on effect on power consumption. The Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP) even allows a variety of video analytics to be deployed at the camera itself, further reducing unnecessary recordings but also eliminating the requirement for additional power-hungry GPU based servers to process any required analytics.

Integrating CCTV, Intercoms, Radar and Audio into a single platform such as Axis Camera Station again reduces the backend environmental costs.


Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Secure Logiq. Of course, power savings have a direct effect on the total carbon footprint of the solution, in our example the difference is over 7 tonnes of carbon emitted every year and 150kg less of processed metal in the overall solution. With our partners we also offer incentives to recycle valuable non-renewable raw materials.

In our efforts to become a carbon neutral company, in 2022 we planted over 50 tennis courts worth of trees to enhance our sustainable manufacturing credentials. Other steps have been focused on energy reduction. This has seen the replacement of conventional lighting in our new HQ with low power LED lights. Additionally, all the gas space heaters have been replaced with electric heaters. The roof is covered with solar panels to harvest clean energy all year round and battery storage means the production process and heating can all be powered, and we are transitioning our fleet to all electric vehicles. We have also installed a heat recovery system so that the heat generated from our server test racks is recovered, used to heat up fresh air from outside and then pumped back into the office space. These efforts have been recognised with an Intersec Award for Security Sustainability Service of the year.

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The evidence is clear that by selecting a product that is designed specifically for purpose, i.e. servers that are optimised for high throughput high storage density video applications, the cost and space saving aspects will be welcome news to any Security Integrator or end user but one conclusion that cannot be ignored is the ultimate effect we can have on our environment offering a significantly lower carbon footprint in the manufacture, transportation and day to day running of the solution and the preservation of the planets limited non-renewable resources.


The price of electricity used in this example was taken from https://www.businesselectricityprices.org.uk/cost-per-kwh in February 2023 as the average commercial property pricing. 

The carbon emitted is based on the UK energy mix taken from this https://grid.iamkate.com in February 2023.

Source and time of electricity pricing and carbon data will not affect the percentage savings or overall findings of this document, just the final savings numbers. 

1. http://www.terresacree.org/aluminiumanglais.htm

2. https://arcticecon.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/aluminium-smelting-in-iceland-alcoa-rio-tinto-alcan-century-aluminum-corp/

3. http://www.climatefriendly.com/Business/Calculators