Use your IP network to centralize video surveillance

In recent years, video surveillance has shifted to the IP network. The change is not just for higher resolution images and longer retention, the growth of IP surveillance has resulted from a variety of benefits. One of the key benefits is consolidating hardware resources which increases performance, availability and utilization across the three parts of a surveillance network: cameras, video servers, and storage.

To learn more about centralizing surveillance resources on your network read this white paper, and watch this short video.

Of course there are more advantages of IP video surveillance, here’s a killer list provided by excITingIP.com:

Scalability: IP Surveillance system scales from a single camera to thousands of cameras (in the increments of single camera) by just increasing the cameras, memory and processing power of the back-end servers.

Reliability/Redundancy: As standard IP hardware is used, trouble shooting and availability of spare parts become easier for IP Surveillance. IP based data storage enables off-site storage and back up in multiple locations as standard hard disks are being used. And complete redundancy can be created at the network and individual component level (Servers etc) to make sure that there is no single point of failure.

Cost: IP Surveillance use the IP Network components like Catx cables and network switches. This network can also be shared with other applications. So, the cost of setting up and maintaining twisted pair IP network is lesser than the cost of setting up and maintaining analog co-axial cable networks, which might be useful only for surveillance.

Power for Cameras: Since Catx cables in IP Networks support Power Over Ethernet standard, both electrical power and data can be carried to the cameras in the same cable (Instead of requiring a separate power source/ adaptor/ power cabling etc).

Open Standards: As most of the IP systems are based on open standards, multiple vendor interoperability is possible with IP Surveillance.


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10 Responses to Use your IP network to centralize video surveillance

  1. While I agree that some applications benefit from centralizing video surveillance, there are 2 major barriers/problems to this:

    (1) Sites that are connected across a WAN are practically infeasible for centralizing video surveillance (as bandwidth is either not available (DSL, cable modem) or only available at a very high price (T3s, etc.)

    (2) If you are using megapixel cameras or hundreds of IP cameras, the bandwidth needs can start exceeding 1 GB networks. Now, some may have 10GB in place but many do not or will not want to increase the load on their LANs to the levels needing for high definition IP surveillance.

    In both of these scenarios, distributed tends to be preferable.

    • Shonal Narayan says:

      John, thanks for your comment. We’ve seen something a little different..

      (1) The demand for centralized storage will force the realization paying for WAN bandwidth as a necessity. In the future the real need vs wishing will be determined by whether or not the expense for bandwidth is spent. The security market will soon follow the IT segment in this regard.

      (2) Unfortunately, end users will be faced with reduced megapixels, lower FPS or more advanced compression cameras will have to be used if the infrastructure cannot handle the IO. Again demand for resolution will result in 10Gbe becoming the standard, just as in years past 100Mb/s networks were replaced by 1Gbe backbones. Speed will ultimately win our aided by the reduced pricing in 10Gbe hardware components. This has been seen too many times in the past. There was a time when everybody expressed the same concerns about going from 10Mb/s to 100Mb/s. Look at today.. in three years it will be 40Gb/s.

  2. How will “The demand for centralized storage force the realization paying for WAN bandwidth as a necessity”?

    Are you saying WAN bandwidth prices will drop dramatically?

    Are you implying that people will become more willing to justify the cost of WAN bandwidth?

    The business case of paying for WAN bandwidth to eliminate distributed storage costs seems quite weak. Do you have ROI calculations that show the benefit of using the WAN for centralized storage?

  3. Shonal Narayan says:

    I am not saying this is a guarantee as it has yet to become the standard, but as I said before, the need for speed will ultimately win aided by reduced pricing in 10Gbe hardware components. This has been seen too many times in the past. We’ve noticed with IP SAN deployments, customers are utilizing the WAN for remote replication and disaster recovery. The main point I’m trying to make is not about the benefits of WAN, I simply highlighted the keys to centralizing your hardware resources via IP.

  4. “customers are utilizing the WAN for remote replication and disaster recovery”

    I agree with you about that. The economics are usually compelling to do so given the value and risk of enterprise data.

    I doubt that the economics are anywhere near as good for video surveillance – whose value is far less to most enterprises and whose volume can be far higher.

  5. Very nice blog and great information thanks. Your blog is very much good. I am very much impressed by your blog content.

  6. thanks for sharing about this.

  7. Ip network cameras are definitely getting very popular these days. We have a broad client base that prefers Ip network cameras due to their higher resolution and better performance.

  8. One of the biggest benefits of IP cameras is the increased resolution you get out of an IP based system. Try pumping megapixel video through an RG-59 coaxial cable.