Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bandwidth Challenges and IP Video

As the convergence of Security and IT becomes more prevalent, need for CCTV Video Review across an organizations network is becoming more and more available. For the Physical Security Professional, there is not much to be concerned about as thier interface to the video may or may not change. However for the IT Professional, the implications of putting video on an organization's network can be very intimidating, and is often resisted with great effort.

When faced with this possible task, there are a few things that should be considered which may make the decision-making much easier. First, consider how much video will actually be traversing the network. An IP Video system can be built such that the higher frame rates, higher resolution video (requiring much more bandwidth) is only used in alarm type scenarios and is only transmitted across a designated network pipe. This allows for much better control of the amount of video.

Second, to manage the bandwidth, give careful consideration of which spans the video really needs to traverse. If built properly, a Networked Digital Video system should have very little negative impact on the organization's corporate network. By utilizing distributed recording platforms wherever possible and dedicated LANs, separated by virtual private networks, the direction the video flows may be controlled quite comfortably.

Third, review the list of potential users and manage those users with the inherent throttling capabilities of the Recording System or with the network's own technologies, like QOS. This gives appropriate amounts of bandwidth to the critical users/ applications, and reduces bandwidth across those network spans.

Lastly, consider the many different types (by criticality) of video and where it should/ could be stored. In some environments and Recording Systems, video may be segmented and flagged for longer term storage (whether on the original recording device, or in an off site storage system). Consider storing surveillance video (24/7 video) for a few days and then have the system automatically remove pictures WITHOUT motion to free up HDD space. Then after another period of time, see if the system can automatically off load event video (alarms or transactions) to a centralized storage at a designated point during the late night.

Careful consideration and proper planning/ design will ensure a successful implementation of IP Video in an organization's corporate network. We have only reviewed a few thoughts related to bandwidth and IP video.

For more information, feel free to comment on the blog...


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